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Organiser of Russian blogger escape arrested in Moldova

November 01, 2011, 14:30 UTC+3

A man, suspected of having organised the escape of Eduard Bagirov has been arrested in Moldova

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CHISINAU, November 1 (Itar-Tass) —— A man, suspected of having organised the escape of Eduard Bagirov, a Russian blogger, has been arrested in Moldova, Marian Lupu, acting president of Moldova, told journalists on Tuesday. “The identity of the Moldovan nationals, involved in the escape of Bagirov by the Malovata-Tiraspol-Odessa route, has been established. One of them has been arrested already,” Lupu said. According to his information, the investigators “have not received any proof of the complicity of Moldovan senior officials in the organisation of the escape,” although “there are some strange coincidences in the case.” “The Bagirov case will be referred to court within a few days, whether the defendant is present or not. I shall personally follow the investigation, so that it would be completed, and we would see the whole situation,” Lupu continued. Moldovan Prosecutor-General Valeriu Zubco confirmed the fact of the arrest of the first person, suspected of organising of Bagirov’s escape. According to his information, “this is a man, a citizen of Moldova, born in 1975.” Last week Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat blamed the prosecutor-general’s office for the escape of Bagirov, and demanded the resignation of Zubco. Bagirov was arrested in Chisinau in June, this year. He was accused of complicity in massive unrest in April 2009, when members of the Liberal opposition, displeased with the victory of Communists at the elections, had staged protest actions, which had developed into the destruction of the parliament building and the residence of the president. According to the Moldovan legislation, Bagirov could be sentenced to a prison term from four to eight years. Later Bagirov’s lawyers achieved his placing under home arrest for the period of the investigation, but on October 19 he was again put on the wanted list of the Moldovan police after it turned out that he had left Moldova. After coming to Moscow, Bagirov gave an interview to Sergey Minayev, a Russian journalist, in which he said that he had been arrested on the order of “provisional President Marian Lupu and Prosecutor-General Zubco.” According to his information, pressure had been exerted on him during interrogations “for the purpose of getting evidence on the involvement of Mark Tkachuk, one of the leaders of the opposition Communist Party, in the organisation of the April unrest.” The Russian Foreign Ministry defended Bagirov and demanded his “immediate release with the recognizance not to leave until the end of the investigation, which would be in line with the generally recognized human rights norms and would not create unnecessary complications in bilateral relations.”

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