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CHISINAU, July 16. /TASS/. Former President of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria, Yevgeny Shevchuk, who has fled to Moldova after criminal charges were initiated against him in his republic, has accused Transnistrian law enforcers of exerting pressure on those who used to work with to make them testify against him.
"They can just as well find people who would ‘testify’ against the prosecutor, against anybody else. With the elections over, the ‘witnesses’ seem to be ‘inflamed’ with eagerness," Shevchuk said in an interview with the Alfa-24 online news outlet on Sunday.
According to Shevchuk, he issued "no illegal decrees" he is being charged with and reports about them are used as a "pretext for falsifications and discrediting attempts."
Earlier, Shevchuk came out with an open letter to Transnistrian Prosecutor Anatoly GUretsky and chief of the Investigations Committee Vyacheslav Brynzar demanding they look into the facts of his being stripped of immunity by the parliaments, criminal cases and searches in his and his relatives’ houses.
Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Affairs Gheorghe Balan pledged earlier the Moldovan authorities would not extradite Shevchuk, since Moldova and Transnistria have no agreement on extradition.
A total of five criminal cases have been opened against former President Vadim Shevchuk, who stood at the head of the region from 2011 through to 2016 and who now faces twelve years in jail. The regional legislature has stripped him of immunity in order to make him accountable.
Shevchuk, who does not recognize any guilt on his part, has fled to Moldova, saying he wanted to avoid an assassination attempt. He described the decision of the Transnistrian authorities to institute criminal cases against him and to strip him of immunity as ‘a contract provocation.’
According to the Moldovan mass media, the former Transnistrian leader and his wife, Nina Shevchuk, who was Transnistria’s foreign minister under her husband’s administration, are now living in Chisinau, in an apartment they bought earlier.
Obnovleniye (Renewal) Party, which stood in opposition to Shevchuk, has the majority of seats in the Transdniestrian legislature at the moment. After Vadim Krasnoselsky’s victory in a presidential election, criminal cases were initiated against a number of members of Shevchuk’s team, including the former chief of the State Security Committee, Nikolai Zemtsov, the chairman of the Customs Committee, Yuri Gervazyuk, and the President of the Dniester Republican Bank, Eduard Kosovsky.