Pro-EU government charges pro-Russian ex-president
Igor Dodon has been accused of abuse of office in relation to electricity purchases for Moldova
Former Moldovan President Igor Dodon is facing new criminal charges, having now been accused of abuse of office “in the interests of an organized criminal group,” the country’s Office of the Prosecutor General announced on Monday.
According to the prosecutor’s statement, the charges were filed in connection with the ‘Energocom’ criminal case and relate to the period of 2008-2009, when Dodon held the positions of first deputy prime minister and minister of economy and trade.
The prosecutor’s office claims that Dodon signed a document allowing the general director of the company Energocom to ink a contract with a Hungarian company for the purchase of electricity for Moldova. As a result, the prosecutors say that the price of electricity for the period of May through September 2008 was $0.053 per kilowatt/hour and $0.058 from October 2008 through June 2009. This, the prosecutors continue, is despite the fact that Energocom had already negotiated and concluded two contracts for electricity supply at a price 29% lower.
The subsequent financial damage to the state amounted to almost $12 million, which, according to the statement, was transferred to the accounts of certain offshore companies.
“These actions also led to an increase in electricity tariffs, which affected end consumers – the citizens of Moldova,” the prosecutor’s office said.
It added that the former president pleaded not guilty.
Following the indictment, Dodon took to Telegram to share his point of view on the matter.
“Apparently, the prosecutors do not find evidence for the other charges, so they decided to focus on this case,” he claimed.
Dodon said that 14 years ago Moldova was buying electricity “for a lower price than many countries in the region” while the current government “buys energy resources on top secret terms.”
“In this case, the current leadership of the country and the minister of infrastructure need to be charged every day,” the former head of state said.
Back in May, Dodon faced four other charges: passive corruption, illegal financing of political parties, illicit enrichment, and treason. These allegations were linked to the so-called “bag case.” Video footage from 2019 from the office of the Democratic Party of Moldova showed now-exiled businessman Vladimir Plahotniuc, who headed the party, giving Dodon a bag, presumably with money. The president did not take the bag, telling Plahotniuc instead to give it to another person. The two men’s conversation revealed that the funds were intended to finance Dodon’s Party of Socialists.
Dodon denied all accusations, saying that it is not the first time that he has become “a target of orchestrated and politically controlled justice.” He also claimed that he has the “necessary explanations that remove any suspicion of corruption and violation of the law.”