Moldova places former President Dodon under house arrest

Moldova's former President Igor Dodon, detained on corruption charges, is escorted by law enforcement officers before a court hearing in Chisinau, Moldova May 26, 2022. REUTERS/Vladislav Culiomza

KYIV (Reuters) - A Moldovan court on Thursday placed former president and pro-Russian opposition leader Igor Dodon under house arrest for 30 days to allow prosecutors to investigate allegations of corruption and treason.

The Ciocana district court in Chisinau, the capital, made the order two days after Dodon's house was searched and he was placed under detention for 72 hours.

Speaking to the media after the court hearing, Dodon said the case was politically motivated, a charge the government has rejected.

Dodon told journalists that the judge was carrying out a "political order" from pro-Western President Maia Sandu, who succeeded Dodon in 2020. Dodon said he had no property other than that which he had officially declared.

The government has rejected the allegation of political interference with Justice Minister Sergiu Litvinenco saying the case would be carried out "in strict accordance with the law."

Dodon's arrest comes at a time when relations between Moscow and Chisinau are increasingly strained.

The Kremlin earlier said it was concerned at reports that Dodon had been detained, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling on Moldovan authorities to respect his rights.

In recent months Russian separatists in Moldova's Transdniestria region blamed neighbouring Ukraine for what they said were shootings, explosions and drone incursions, raising fears that Moldova could be drawn into the conflict in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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