On March 17th, the former Democrat deputy in the Moldovan Parliament, Iurie Bolboceanu, was arrested by the law enforcement bodies, being accused of treason and espionage, reports Newsmaker.md (March 19th), referring to two anonymous sources.
March 20th, 13.41, Chișinău time- The information on Bolboceanu’s arrest was confirmed by a source from the Security and Intelligence Service of Moldova for Ziarul de Gardă. ZdG’s source stated that there is enough proof and claimed that it is a case of classical espionage, mentioning that Moldova is a target of espionage actions from both West and East.
UPDATE, 14.21, Chișinău time: A representative of the Prosecution Office together with two officers of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) confirmed the arrest of MP Bolboceanu, but did not confirm that he collaborated with a spy of Russia, mentioning only the term of “spy of a state”. The officers stated that the MP used to have a meeting with the spy every month, in order to offer a briefing of the socio-economical situation in exchange for money. They added that Bolboceanu used to collaborate with the foreign services for several years with different persons/agents of that foreign state. Moreover, Moldova’s SIS is monitoring other cases of spying.
Bolboceanu was arrested after the officers of the Prosecution office for fighting organized crime and special cases conducted searches at his house. The ex-Democrat MP is accused of treason and espionage in the context of his relation with, Alexandr Grudin, the aide to the military attaché of Russia to Moldova- “interested in obtaining national security information”.
According to the information obtained by Newsmaker, Bolboceanu and Grudin were conducting “strong measures of conspiracy”.
“Taking in account the events in Ukraine, one cannot exclude the possibility of the involvement of the Russian special services officers in organizing or supporting events oriented towards the destabilization of the socio-political situation in the country”, reads the prosecution document, obtained by NM.
Iurie Bolboceanu was also a figure in the 2014 case (Ziarul de Gardă) on the attempts to buy deputies for 200 thousand euros, meant to make them independent of the governing coalition and to make them not take part in the voting on several laws on the Association of Moldova and the EU. At that time, on 6 March 2014, Bolboceanu quit the Democratic Party caucus from the Parliament, but his move was not investigated.
Some might regard Bolboceanu’s arrest as a revenge action conducted by the Democrats in regard to his treason to the party, but also as another move of the governing coalition to show off in a diplomatic conflict with Russia to make an apparent good impression to the EU.