Moldova: Regime fears Petrenko’s participation in April 24 protest

April 20: The Plahotniuc regime, to avoid the release of political prisoner Grigory Petrenko against the background of pressure from international organizations, has resorted to “banal tricks” to keep the leader of the opposition party Red Bloc under arrest.

Petrenko Group political prisoners
This was stated by his attorney Ana Ursachi to MoldNews agency, commenting on the postponement of the court hearing scheduled for April 20, which was to consider the merits of the case and likely change the measure of restraint against Grigory Petrenko and his comrades.

“This is a banal trick, resorted to so that today’s hearing wouldn’t affect “sensitive issues” in connection with the preventive measure against Grigory Petrenko. The regime wants at all costs to avoid the potential appearance of Petrenko among the protesters on April 24, and so they once again stall,” Ana Ursachi.

Ana Ursachi
Counsel recalls that “since the case began, there are dozens of examples that when Plahotniuc really needed the hearing to take place, for example, on days when extending the detention of the political prisoners was discussed, extraordinary steps were taken: judges and lawyers were replaced, to ensure the process took place.”

“Today it is not so, because the regime was anticipating the opposite possibility, namely that they will have to release Petrenko!” explained Ursachi.

The court hearing of April 20 was postponed on the grounds that Judge Ludmila Ursu is on sick leave. A new hearing was announced for April 25.

It should be noted that on April 26 the mandate expires for the house arrest of all the Petrenko Group political prisoners, which was previously extended by the court and upheld by the magistrates of the Chisinau Court of Appeal.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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