An important Russian newspaper „Kommersant” published details of the criminal prosecution in Russia of the leader of the Democratic Party ruling in Moldova, the Russian citizen, oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc.
According to the information published by the newspaper, Plahotniuc was arrested in absentia in Russia at the request of the Investigative Committee of Russia, being accused of creating a criminal group to prepare an assassination attempt on his political opponent, Renato Usatyi.
Yadviga Khabarova, the lawyer of Plahotniuc, contested the decision of Moscow Basmanny District Court on the arrest in absentia of Plahotniuc, claiming that the Investigative Committee of Russia had no clear evidence of her client’s involvement in the commission of the crime under par. 1 of Art. 30 and par. 2 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code (attempted murder based on political and ideological hatred). In addition, according to version given by the lawyer, the investigative authorities didn’t inform Plahotniuc about the initiation of a criminal case against him, and learned this information just from media reports when he was in the United States. In this context, the layer, who believes that her client does not hide from the Investigative Committee of Russia, asked the Moscow City Court to cancel the arrest decision of the court of first instance.
Therefore, the investigator of the Investigative Committee of Russia found the arguments of the lawyer as unfounded and provided several arguments in favour of applying the arrest against the Moldovan oligarch. According to the investigator, a complex of various measures, including at international level are being carried out to locate the leader of the DPM Plahotniuc.
According to the version of the Investigative Committee of Russia, in 2014, Vladimir Plahotniuc decided to eliminate his political opponent Renato Usatyi. To this end, Plahotniuc created an organized criminal group which included a man named Russu and „unidentified persons”. According to the investigation, they established the residence of Renato Usatyi and his schedule. After that, they determined the place of the future attack, prepared the escape routes and bought firearm. In the opinion of the Investigative Committee of Russia the perpetrators informed Vladimir Plahotniuc on the readiness for the assassination attempt, but the members of the group didn’t realize what they’ve planned due to circumstances beyond their control. As a result of the investigation, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated criminal proceedings for the preparation of the attempt in summer 2017. The reason was the fact that both persons involved - Plahotniuc and Usatyi - are citizens of the Russian Federation.
As a result, on January 10, 2018, Moscow Basmanny District Court upheld the decision on the arrest in absentia of the leader of the Democratic Party ruling in Moldova, the Russian citizen Vladimir Plahotniuc, on charges of attempted murder.
Commenting on the decision of the Moscow court, the DPM spokesman told journalists that the decision issued by the Russian court was not a coincidence, but was caused allegedly by the fact that the Speaker of the Parliament, Andrian Candu promulgated on the same day a law banning Russian propaganda on the territory of Moldova.
Previously, the media reported consistently that Vladimir Plahotniuc is a citizen of the Russian Federation and has been on several occasions under constant review of Interpol, in particular on the same list with representatives of Solntsevskaya organized crime group.