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Moldovan Parliament Sacks Chief Justice

The ouster was led by liberal deputies within the ruling coalition.
CHISINAU -- The Moldovan parliament has sacked the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Ion Muruianu, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

The majority liberal deputies within the ruling coalition voted today to dismiss Muruianu, who had been appointed by the former Communist government.

Muruianu angered the media last month when he said that some journalists act like "rabid dogs." Several well-known Moldovan journalists responded by asking parliament to sack Muruianu.

The leader of the Communist opposition, Vladimir Voronin, said he has sent a written request to the Council of Europe to defend Muruianu, whom he called "one of the most honest judges in Moldova."

Voronin said Muruianu is the victim of political retribution and of an unfair smear campaign led by Constantin Tanase, an influential editorialist who is the father of Moldovan Justice Minister Alexandru Tanase.

Muruianu has not commented on his dismissal. He said earlier that his comments about journalists were taken out of context by the media.