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Moldova Prosecutors Quiz Ex-President Over Demonstrator Beatings


Former Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin enters the General Prosecutor's Office in Chisinau on January 25.

Former Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin enters the General Prosecutor's Office in Chisinau on January 25.

Prosecutors in Chisinau have again interviewed the country's former president over the beatings in April of demonstrators during protests against the election victory of the ruling Communist Party.

Vladimir Voronin, who stepped down following the pro-Western opposition's victory in last year's second election in July, told reporters today in Chisinau that he did not know in detail what the police were up to during the youth protests.

But he said once he realized there were young people in jail, he had them released.

Voronin has been questioned by prosecutors on two consecutive days as a witness of last year's events.

His former interior minister, Gheorghe Papuc, and the former chief of the police in Chisinau, Vladimir Botnari, have been already questioned as suspects and charged with "serious negligence at work."

They could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

Hundreds of Moldovans claim they were the victims of police brutality in the aftermath of the April protests, which left at least one person dead.
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