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Moldova: Parliament Strips Immunity From Opposition Leaders

Chisinau, 4 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Moldova's Communist-dominated parliament today voted to strip the immunity from the leader of the opposition Popular Party Christian Democratic. All opposition parliamentarians boycotted the vote.

The opposition party has spearheaded months of antigovernment protests demanding closer ties with Europe and an end to what they call "Russification."

Opposition leader Iurie Rosca has said the peaceful demonstrations will continue until the Communist government resigns.

The parliament also stripped the immunity from Roshku associate Stefan Secareanu.

Today's decision paves the way for criminal prosecution against Rosca and Secareanu on charges of planning illegal demonstrations. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison.

A court in the capital Chisinau last month found Rosca and two others guilty of misdemeanor charges because the demonstrations were not approved by city police.