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Moldovan Opposition Deputies Stripped Of Immunity

13 October 2005 -- Moldova's communist-controlled parliament voted today to strip a leading opposition figure and two other lawmakers of their immunity in order to allow prosecutors to investigate them for alleged corruption.

The leader of the centrist Our Moldova Alliance, former Chisinau Mayor Serafim Urechean, is accused of misspending public funds.

Urechean denied any wrongdoing, saying the investigation was politically motivated and blaming the Communist government. Two other lawmakers from Urechean's party, Ion Ciontoloi and Vasile Colta, were also striped of their immunity in the 54-0 vote.

In a request to parliament, prosecutors said in June that the three were suspected of abuse of power and fraud involving public funds.

Urechean's party, which campaigned on a pro-Russian platform, and the Christian-Democrat opposition group, did not take part in the vote.


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