18 may, 2020

Former chairman of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc, will be charged with involvement in the theft of a billion dollars from the banking system of Moldova, Attorney General Alexandr Stoianoglo said at a briefing on Monday.

He recalled that earlier, during the reign of the Democratic Party, the Prosecutor's Office deliberately delayed the consideration of the theft of a billion. Also, the reports of the detective agency Kroll were not made public, and then they were made public only partially.

"Everyone remembers the statements that "honest people" appear in these reports. Today, I can say that, according to the materials presented earlier, the case of the billion theft was divided and there was an involvement of three groups: the group of Veaceslav Platon, the group of Vlad Filat, and the group of Ilan Shor. Further, the first two were convicted and are serving a sentence. The Shor case is pending in the Appeals Chamber. We found that there was another group that was not said anything: the group of Vladimir Plahotniuc", Stoianoglo said.

According to him, "the Prosecutor's General Office has incontrovertible evidence that Plahotniuc is one of the main beneficiaries of the theft of a billion".

"We found that it was his firm, through Ilan Shor, that received loans from Banca de Economii in the amount of more than one hundred million dollars. This money was not returned. They were used for the acquisition of ASITO, National Hotel, Fashion House, as well as for personal purposes. The plane was purchased with this money, charter flights were paid for Plahotniuc and his entourage", the Prosecutor General said.

Stoianoglo stressed that "in relation to Plahotniuc, a criminal case will be instituted under three charges: the creation of an organized criminal group, extortion and fraud on an especially large scale".

"Materials will be prepared and translated into English. As soon as this is ready, we will appeal to the USA with a request to extradite Plahotniuc in order to bring him to criminal responsibility in Moldova", the Attorney outlined.

Moreover, new charges will be brought against Ilan Shor.

"A group of prosecutors is working, studying all the materials of the case. A new charge will be brought against Shor as he actively participated in the criminal gang of Plahotniuc", Stoianoglo said.

He emphasized that the case of businessman Veacheslav Platon, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in a bank fraud case, would be reviewed.

"The materials testify that Platon was convicted absolutely illegally. The whole case was falsified, first to the end. It is based on a distorted interpretation of facts and fraud. This case will be reviewed transparently, in open court, in compliance with all procedural rules that have not been previously observed. Society must make sure who is guilty and who is not", the Prosecutor General said.

Stoianoglo appealed for the support of the society and the media in the process of putting things in order, saying that "my statements and actions of the prosecutors are in no way connected with the political situation in the country".

"There was a pandemic and it took time to study all the circumstances of the case. Therefore, we did not come up with the premature conclusions. Now it is time to rid society of fear and lies. If you want, this is the moment of truth, how prepared we are for changes. Do we want a free and democratic society or will continue to be in a lie and fear. We need to prove that human rights, the rule of law and a democratic society are not empty words. Personally, I'm not afraid, although I know that there will be tough statements of politicians, threats and manipulations in the media. I do the right thing, by law. I do what the country and citizens need. The society deserves to know the truth", the Attorney General added.

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