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Former Moldovan Central Bank Chief Hospitalized After Arrest

Leonid Talmaci

CHISINAU -- A former central bank chief who is considered the founder of Moldova's national currency has been hospitalized with symptoms of heart trouble after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Leonid Talmaci's lawyer, Vitalie Nagacevschi, said on March 6 that his client felt unwell after questioning last week and was placed in an intensive care unit at a Chisinau hospital.

Talmaci, who had heart surgery in January, was detained on March 3 and placed under 15-day preliminary arrest.

Investigators say he is suspected of involvement in alleged fraud that caused a state car-insurance system to suffer financial losses.

Nagacevschi said the authorities have presented no evidence that Talmaci committed any crime.

Talmaci's arrest on March 3 came hours after President Igor Dodon appointed him a member of the presidential economic council.

Talmaci, 63, headed the National Bank of Moldova in 1992-2009.

He is considered the founder of post-Soviet Moldova's leu currency and his signature is on Moldovan banknotes issued between 1992 and 2010.