KYIV, May 24 (Reuters) – Former Moldovan president Igor Dodon, leader of the pro-Russian opposition party, has been arrested by authorities on corruption charges, state television reported on Tuesday, a detention should anger Moscow.
Quoting, like the channel Moldova 1, the anti-corruption prosecutor Elena Kazakov, the Russian press agency RIA also announced the arrest of the former Moldavian head of state.
No comment was immediately obtained from the prosecution and a spokesperson for Igor Dodon.
Earlier in the day, the Kremlin expressed its concern over press reports announcing the arrest of Igor Dodon. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called on the Moldovan authorities to respect Dodon’s rights.
A search was carried out at the home of Igor Dodon as part of an investigation relating in particular to suspicions of corruption and treason, indicated the Russian news agencies Interfax and RIA, quoting prosecutors.
Socialist Party deputy chairman Vlad Batrincea said the investigation stemmed from political motives by the authorities described as loyal to pro-Western president Maia Sandu, who replaced Igor Dodon in power in 2020.
“It’s a dangerous game, those who go against the opposition want to cause destabilization,” he said during a press briefing.
A representative for Maia Sandu, who is currently in the United States to celebrate her birthday, did not respond to a request for comment. (Report Alexander Tanas and Max Hunder; French version Jean Terzian, told by Sophie Louet)