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Head of Russia’s Sputnik Moldova news agency detained on corruption charges

Sputnik Moldova’s press service has confirmed the detention, but refused to give comments

CHISINAU, September 17. /TASS/. The head of the Moldovan branch of Russia’s Sputnik news agency Vladimir Novosadyuk was detained on Tuesday by the republic’s National Anti-Corruption Center.

According to Moldova’s Bloknot portal, Novosadyuk is suspected of having bribed several law enforcement officials as well as ties with Moldovan hideaway businessman Ilan Shor, who was sentenced on charges of embezzling 1 bln euro from Moldovan banks.

Moldova’s Prosecutor General’s Office has declined to comment on the news. Sputnik Moldova’s press service has confirmed the detention, but also refused to give comments.

Novosadyuk was mentioned as a suspect in a report by the international agency Kroll, which investigated a bank fraud that also involved lawmakers of the Shor party Marina Tauber and Reghina Apostolova, who were arrested on Monday.

In June 2017, Shor was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison over the 1 bln euro fraud involving three Moldovan banks. However, the businessman later challenged the sentence. In the meantime, Shor set up his political party and was elected as an MP.

This June, a new parliamentary majority was created in Moldova, formed by the parties that lined up against oligarch and former leader of the Democratic Party Vladimir Plahotniuc. Later, Plahotniuc and his allies, including Shor, fled the country. According to Moldova’s Interior Ministry, Plahotniuc, who gave up his MP mandate in late July, is currently in the United States, while Shor, who was stripped of immunity in August and put on a wanted list, has been hiding in Israel.