Classified materials found in search at Moldovan ex-premier’s home

Evidence of corruption that Vlad Filat was charged with have also been found in searches at his home and office.

Classified documents have been found during searches at the house of former Prime Minister of Moldova Vlad Filat arrested on suspicion of corruption, a public prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Centre told a news conference on Monday. “More documents were found in searches at Filat’s house, many of them classified,” Adriana Betisor said, noting that evidence of corruption that he was charged with had also been found in searches at his home and office. She also commented on Filat’s demanding criminal prosecution for Moldovan businessman Ilan Shor who claimed he had paid Filat bribes worth millions of USdollars.

Lawyers say that publishing transcript of Ilan Shor’s interrogation in local media came in violation of presumption of innocence. “Filat’s complaint is reviewed by public prosecutors, and if reasons are found valid, a process to open a criminal case will be launched,” Betisor said. Chisinau court on Sunday extended the term of Filat’s arrest for another 30 days. The former prime minister and now the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, which is the core of the pro-European ruling coalition, is charged with involvement into a high-profile case of embezzlement of one billion U.S. dollars from the country’s banking system.

Accusations are built on a confession of Ilan Shor, who told the story of Filat’s “acts of corruption” on ten pages during interrogation on October 13. Thus, Shor claimed to have paid about 250 million U.S. dollars to the former prime minister for his services and for favorable environment for his business. Shor is a target in the case of embezzlement of one billion US dollars from three Moldovan banks – Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank. Last week, the Moldovan parliament voted in favor of stripping Vlad Filat off his lawmaker immunity. The National Anti-corruption Centre said searches of Filat’s house and office had yielded a number of documents proving his involvement in passive corruption. Some of the evidence leaked to the mass media.

Meanwhile, mass protests have been held in Chisinau for more than a month. The opposition, which calls Moldova “a country seized by oligarchs,” demands resignation of the country’s top officials and insists on early parliamentary elections and direct elections of the president. Central Chisinau has literally turned into a tent camp divided between two opposition forces, the Party of Socialists and Our Party on the one hand, and the Dignity and Truth (DA) Civil Platform on the other. Both demand resignation of the country’s leaders and early elections. The DA Platform however stands for European integration and accuses the current authorities of discrediting this slogan by large-scale embezzlement. The Party of Socialists and Our Party stand for Eurasian geopolitical vector and closer relations with Russia. The opposition leaders are refusing to pool their efforts but agreed not to hamper each other.

Large-scale protests erupted in Moldova in the spring 2015 after the media had reported a theft of about one billion US dollars from three Moldovan banks, which nearly went bankrupt. Back then, Moldova’s ruling Alliance for European Integration coalition came under severe criticism from foreign donors, including the European Union and the World Bank, which subsequently suspended their financing of the republic.


19 October 2015