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Moldova's Former Interior Minister Indicted For April Crackdown


Police officers clashed with demonstrators during demonstrations in Chisinau following the April election.

Police officers clashed with demonstrators during demonstrations in Chisinau following the April election.

CHISINAU -- The Moldovan Prosecutor's Office says former Interior Minister Gheorghe Papuc and former Chisinau police chief Vladimir Botnari have been charged with "negligence at work with extremely serious consequences," RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

If found guilty, they could go to prison for up to seven years.

Papuc and Botnari reportedly led the police response to the antigovernment demonstrations in Chisinau on April 7, after the controversial general elections won by the Communist Party, which was voted out of power in repeat elections held on July 29.

The new pro-Western government authorities have promised to investigate the violence that occurred in the spring. Several top law-enforcement officials appointed by the previous government have since been fired.

According to the new government and to a European Parliament fact-finding mission, hundreds of people from the April protests were beaten and abused in police custody.

At least two people were killed in the street clashes after the protests.

Papuc recently told the press he is innocent and the police did "the right thing" during the street demonstrations.
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