The U.S. authorities’ decision to publicly designate former Democratic leader Vlad Palhotniuc and the members of his family and make them ineligible for visas to the United States sounds practically like a sentence in the case of Vlad Plahotniuc and predicts hard times for the former and yet current oligarch from Chisinau, historian and publicist Gheorghe Cojocaru stated for RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service.
According to him, the first reactions to the public designation of Plahotniuc belonged to the former government partners, the Socialists leaders and those from the ACUM Bloc who indeed last summer made a number of approaches to have Plahotniuc, who is accused of involvement in the theft of funds from Moldova’s banking system, traced and brought back. These approaches and the approaches of other institutions and players interested in seeing Plahotniuc brought to justice start to produce results.
Gheorghe Cojocaru believes that following the steps taken by the U.S. Government, the possibility of ever bringing Vlad Plahotniuc to justice in Moldova passes from the zone of desiderata to the zone of imminence. What seemed to be unreal a year ago now starts to take a more definite shape, but the problem now is to what justice should be Plahotniuc brought if he is taken home? “The justice system he left behind when he fled Chisinau does not seem to have undergone a process of cleanup and aligning with the standards of a fair legal system free from extra-juridical influences,” stated the historian.
Gheorghe Cojocaru also said that after the U.S. Department of State announced the public designation of Vlad Plahotniuc, it seems that the Democratic Party’s administration was hit by a wave of shock. The Democrats probably need time to ponder over the consequences for them following this new situation in which the recent leader of the party found himself. “But it’s clear that despite the efforts made by the current Democratic leadership to distance itself more from Vlad Plahotniuc, the ban on his entry into the U.S. casts a shadow on the party’s past and can make it vulnerable depending on the further developments in this case,” he concluded.