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Alleged Witness To Deadly Moldovan Protests To Testify

Valeriu Boboc was allegedly beaten to death by police during the riots last year in Chisinau.
CHISINAU -- A man who claims to be a key witness to police abuse of protesters in Moldova last year says he is willing to testify about the killing of one protester in downtown Chisinau, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Damian Hancu told RFE/RL on April 2 that a new video released by interim President Mihai Ghimpu supports his own account about the events on the night of the rioting, when a young man, Valeriu Boboc, was allegedly beaten to death by police.

The new video released by Ghimpu and Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca shows how several hundred police, special forces, and plainclothes police rounded up many young protesters, pushing them down and kicking them.

One person who appears to be unconscious after the beating is alleged to be Boboc. He is moved to a car and taken away from the scene. He later died from his injuries.

Hancu says he was among those protesters who were rounded up and assaulted, but he avoided a more severe beating because he was carrying documents proving he was studying at a university in France.

Nearly a year after the rioting that followed the controversial parliamentary elections, no one has been sentenced for the widespread police abuses.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested after the violent street demonstrations erupted in response to what was seen as a fraudulent election that gave an overwhelming victory to the ruling Communist Party.

Ghimpu and Chirtoaca said they released the video because they are frustrated by the slow action in the criminal probe of police actions during the protests.