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Moldovan court issues warrant for arrest of opposition figurehead

October 25, 2016, 1:33 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Renato Usatii, who is currently staying in Moscow, has been put on the international wanted list

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Renato Usatii

Renato Usatii

© Vadim Denisov/TASS

CHISINAU, October 24 /TASS/. Chisinau’s district court has issued a warrant for a 30-day arrest of Renato Usatii, the head of Our Party opposition political force, on charges of attempted homicide, Prosecutor Vitalie Busuioc told journalists on Monday.

"Usatii is being accused of acting in cahoots with a criminal group suspected of fraud and complicity in a contract murder attempt," the prosecutor said.

According to one of the lawyers, the prosecutors demanded an arrest warrant for Usatii on the basis of accusations launched against the suspects in criminal cases opened in London and Bucharest in which Usatii is mentioned as witness. The case is about the murder of Russian banker German Gorbuntsov in London in 2012.

Usatii, who is currently staying in Moscow, has been put on the international wanted list. "I am going to cooperate with investigators, except those from Moldova," the opposition figurehead said earlier noting that the Moldovan authorities could be preparing his arrest.

"I am going to work with the British and the Romanians. I am a Russian national. I have dual citizenship. Under the constitution, Russia does not extradite its citizens. The more so that I am going to prove in any country of the world that the cases are politically motivated," Usatii said.

Dmitri Chubashenko, the Our Party candidate for the presidential elections slated for October 30, expressed fears that the authorities could use the situation to remove him from the presidential race.

"The November 2014 scenario is repeating again. In 2014, the regime of Vladimir Plahotniuc (vice-chairman of the Democratic Part of Moldova) illegally removed the party of Renato Usatii from the presidential race," Chubashenko said.

"Back then, the opposition managed to prove the illegitimacy of the authorities’ decision, which was also criticized by international observers, in court," he added.

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