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Russian Blogger Released From Moldovan Jail

Blogger Eduard Bagirov
Blogger Eduard Bagirov
CHISINAU -- The lawyer of jailed Russian blogger Eduard Bagirov says he was released today from custody after almost five months in preliminary detention in Chisinau, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Lawyer Adrian Matcovschi made the announcement today in an interview with RFE/RL. He said Bagirov will face trial.

Moldova's Prosecutor-General's Office officially charged Bagirov on October 12 with inciting violence in Chisinau in April 2009, when at least one demonstrator was killed in clashes with the police as hundreds of people took to the streets to protest what they saw as a flawed victory by the Communist Party.

Bagirov and others are accused of planning a "Twitter Revolution." That term has been coined by the Western media to describe Moldova's youthful pro-democracy protests, which led to repeat elections that were won by pro-Western parties.

But the prosecutors claim that in April 2009 Bagirov and others, far from promoting democracy, were trying to cause street violence in order to compromise the democratic opposition and to justify tough police action against it by the then-ruling Communist Party.

Bagirov's arrest in mid-June caused tensions in Moldovan-Russian relations, with Moscow urging Moldova to set him free and complaining about the conditions in which he was being held.