Moldova political prisoner: ‘Protest against Plahotniuc is now a crime’

Oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc is the client for the case against Petrenko and his comrades. This was announced at the court hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 28, by political prisoner Pavel Grigorchuk, who was arrested along with former deputy and honorary member of PACE Grigory Petrenko for their participation in a peaceful protest on September 6.
Protest in solidarity with Red Bloc political prisoners in Chisinau, Oct. 28.
Photo by Alexander Gutovski
“The client for the case against us is oligarch Plahotniuc, who longs for revenge against Grigory Petrenko. He has ever since the Liberty Township protest began in front of his house. Plahotniuc succeeded then in having the tent city demolished, but he failed to dismantle the truth: it was reported that he was a beneficiary of illegal tariff increases. As a result, he was forced to resign from his post, and NARE suspended the decision to raise tariffs for 60 days. Plahotniuc lost a lot of money, so he could not forgive Grigory Petrenko, who disclosed this information to the public,” said Pavel Grigorchuk at the hearing.
According to him, “Everyone understands that the case against Grigory Petrenko and his comrades is Plahotniuc’s revenge, as well as an attempt to intimidate people so that they no longer go to the protests.” 
“But he failed, people continue to go to the protests against him. What Petrenko did this summer in front of Plahotniuc’s house, thousands of people are now doing in the capital — protesting against Plahotniuc. Even if Plahotniuc keeps us in prison, he will not get rid of the protests,” said the political prisoner.
According to Grigorchuk, although today “protest against Plahotniuc is a crime,” still “the struggle against Plahotniuc is the mission of all conscious people in Moldova.”
“I appeal to the criminal Plahotniuc, who continues to steal from the people, even after his so-called withdrawal from the political scene: Plahotniuc, we are not afraid of you, we will continue to fight you, even if we go to jail. Sooner or later, you will sit next to Filat, and you will be tapping through the wall with him in prison. So it will be with all those involved in the crimes of the regime,” concluded Grigorchuk.
On Wednesday, October 28, the Riscani sector court began consideration of the merits of the case against the political prisoners led by former deputy Grigory Petrenko. Prosecutors accused the protesters of “mass riots and violent actions in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office” on September 6. 


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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