Moldova draws criminal case in opposition to pro-Russian Gagauzia governor to court

A criminal case in a opposition to the ruler of Moldova’s area of Gagauzia has been taken to court, prosecutors revealed on Wednesday, setting up the prospect of the Kremlin ally being tried on charges of channelling funds from Russia to a pro-Moscow party.

Evgenia Gutul, who came out of obscurity in the past year to win election to head the autonomous area of Gagauzia, has fraught rapports with the central government, which fears Russia and exiled oligarchs meddling in its political landscape. Gutul is alleged of channelling funds from Russia in 2019-2022 to finance the now-banned pro-Russian “Shor” party set up by Ilan Shor, an exiled pro-Russian businessman convicted of fraud in Moldova.

Gutul… was pretty much a part, in the organised introduction of unaccounted financial means into the Republic of Moldova that were accepted  from an organised criminal group, mainly from the Russian Federation,” prosecutors revealed. Gutul, who is known for her adamant pro-Russian ideas and for calling for closer collaborations with Moscow, called the case fabricated in a statement on her Telegram channel. She could be imprisoned for 2-7 years if found guilty and also banned from holding government positions, the statement revealed.