CHISINAU, March 1 /TASS/. Vlad Filat, Moldova’s former prime minister and the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, will remain in jail for another 30 days, Prosecutor Adriana Betisor said after a hearing held at the Chisinau district court on Tuesday.
"Filat’s preliminary arrest was extended for 30 days at the prosecution’s request," the case investigator went on to say.
Filat’s lawyers, however, believe the court has no grounds to keep Filat, who is facing corruption charges, in custody because his guilt has not been proven. "The law clearly says that new circumstances and arguments need to be presented to extend a person’s stay in custody," Filat’s lawyer, Igor Popa, said. He added the court would resume the hearing of the case on Wednesday.
Prosecutors suspect Filat of involvement in a high-profile scandal linked to the withdrawal of €1 billion from Moldova’s banking sector. The scandal caused huge opposition protests across the country. The former prime minister was deprived of his deputy immunity and arrested straight in parliament on October 15, 2015. His arrest led to a collapse of Moldova’s ruling Alliance for European Integration, which comprised the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova; the Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party.
Filat has denied all accusations. He claims that Vladimir Plakhotnyuk, the first vice-chariamn of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and Filat’s pro-European coalition partner, is behind his arrest. The local press calls Plakhotnyuk the most influential oligarch in Moldova.