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Six People Sentenced for Plotting to Kill Moldovan Oligarch

Decision comes a year after a series of international raids allegedly foiled an attempt on the life of Vladimir Plahotniuc.

4 April 2018

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Six men found guilty of plotting the assassination of Moldovan Democratic Party leader Vladimir Plahotniuc (pictured) have been handed sentences ranging from three to 20 years in jail by a court in Chisinau on Monday, Balkan Insight writes. The Moldovan prosecution had initially requested sentences ranging from 11 to 24 years.

 

In April 2017, Moldovan authorities announced that 17 people had been detained in Moldova and Ukraine for allegedly planning to kill the prominent businessman, whom many Moldovans view as a puppet master controlling much of what goes on the worlds of politics and business in their small country.

 

The police also seized “important” amounts of money, arms, grenade launchers, and disposable cell phones, and said that the assassination attempt had been carefully planned for months.

 

Those who received the longest sentences were Valery Zobolotny, the accused ringleader who came up with the plot and received 20 years in jail, and Dmitry Shevchenko, who got 11 years for preparing the murder, and illegally storing the arms and ammunition, according to Moldovan daily Jurnal.md.

 

The group of alleged plotters included Iurie Parhomenco as well, but he reached a plea deal with investigators and was sentenced in January to five years and four months. According to Ziarul de Garda, a Moldovan investigative publication, Parhomenco admitted his guilt and provided details about a planned grenade attack on the Global Business Center (GBC) building where Plahotniuc’s office is located.

 

Investigators said the group acted on orders from Grigory Karamalak (also known as “Bulgaru,” the Bulgarian), a Moldovan based in Moscow for whom an international arrest warrant has been issued, Protv.md wrote last year.

 

The suspects were supposed to receive $200,000 in total once they successfully carried out their plan. Once the prosecutors made public details of the case, including footage of three men shown sketching what appears to be a map of GBC in the sand, the amateurish move became the subject of jokes on social media, Vitalie Busuioc, the deputy chief of the Prosecutor’s Office for Combatting Organized Crime, told Protv.md.

 

 

  • Plahotniuc, who has been called Moldova’s only true oligarch, entered politics in 2010, when he won a seat in parliament. Since then, he has become one of the country’s most controversial figures, and probably one of the most influential, despite efforts to avoid the spotlight, Dmitri Romanovski wrote for TOL in 2013.

 

Compiled by Ioana Caloianu

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