Moldovan anticorruption prosecutors have detained the mayor of Chisinau and several other city officials on suspicion of corruption.
Dorin Chirtoaca and the other officials, including a deputy mayor, were taken to Moldova's National Anticorruption Center (CNA) on the evening of May 25 and ordered held for 72 hours after prosecutors searched city hall for several hours.
The CNA accuses Chirtoaca of instructing his deputy to sign a contract with Austrian company EME Parkleitsystem GmbH.
Chirtoaca suspended the contract with the company this month. Neither Chirtoaca nor the Austrian company have commented on the accusations.
The CNA said the company won contracts due to "concerted actions" from city hall officials.
Seven other officials, including the city's two deputy mayors, have been recently detained in the case.
Chirtoaca, 38, is the deputy chairman of the Liberal Party. He has been mayor of Chisinau since 2007 and supports reunifying the country with neighboring Romania.
All 11 Liberal Party lawmakers in Moldova's 101-seat parliament were absent from the May 26 session.
The Liberal Party recently kicked off a campaign to collect signatures for a referendum to suspend the country's pro-Russian president, Socialist Igor Dodon, for actions incompatible with his office.
Dodon's Socialists in turn have started a campaign to suspend Chirtoaca.
With reporting by Unimedia.md, AP, and News.yam.md