After he was announced in an international search by Russia, Renato Usatîi, the mayor of Bălți city (the north of Moldova) and the leader of the Our Party, organized a press conference, offering more details about the criminal case opened by the Russian authorities against him. According to Usatîi, his case was forged at the behest of President Igor Dodon. Usatîi mentions that his case is based on the testimonies of three people. All three are detainees and are originally from Moldova, one of them was announced in international search by Interpol, being accused of embezzlement, banditry, robbery, and large-scale theft.
On July 27, Usatîi held a press conference, offering details about the case opened against him in Russia. According to him, three persons, detainees, testified against him. The detainees, Dmitri Bass, Tarkunov, and Grigore Karamalak, are all from Moldova.
“Witnesses are detainees, but what surprised me was that Karamalak also testified. They say that 10 years ago, Platon (Veaceslav Platon, accused in the billion theft, but placed in a non-custodial sentence) would have told them that Usatîi is his partner in the laundromat. According to them, eight years ago, at a hotel, Veaceslav Platon told them that he would finance my party.
This is even if I announced that I will create a party only in 2014. I will even insist at the prosecutor’s office that Platon be heard to say these things as well, especially during the period when we didn’t even know each other,” said Usatîi.
The mayor of Bălți says that he presented all the materials to the General Prosecutor’s Office and asked the general prosecutor for information if he appears in any criminal case related to the laundromat and asked to be heard as a witness on this case.
“All this comes from Dodon and three alcoholics from Federal Security Service, whose names I will send to all law enforcement institutions, but also to the top leadership of Russia, with the request that at least two be tested for schizophrenia.
These are the ones who convinced me to support Dodon and give him the party. I have no claims against Russia as a country, but I have claims against certain people in law enforcement, who have unjustly accused me and made me known all over the world. In Moldova, people understand, but not in Russia,” Usatîi also mentioned.
The leader of Our Party says that this case is being handled by Igor Chaika, the son of the former General Prosecutor of Russia and the business partner of Igor Dodon’s brother.
At the same time, Usatîi accuses the authorities in Moldova of sending confidential and personal information to representatives of Russian law enforcement agencies, which is illegal.
“I read the case from Russia and I find out that on June 5, Renato Usatîi with the Rolls Royce car, the copy of the registration certificate, the copy of the service passport, of my colleague Eduard Pleșca and of my driver, are data sent to Moscow when I go to Sculeni and get there.
As Usatîi left for Baden-Baden, my arrest is requested, that they will try to detain me. Such documents can be given only through the Prosecutor’s Office, but not Pasha Voicu (ed. note. Pavel Voicu, Moldova’s Minister of Internal Affairs) to send data via WhatsApp.
Those who, in addition to Voicu, transmitted my data, will have to answer criminally because such things cannot be done without an open case in Moldova,” Usatîi also declared.
In reply, the adviser of the interior minister, Alina Zbancă, rejected the accusations brought by Usatîi.
“Renato Usatîi speculates. Minister Pavel Voicu leads the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a legal institution that has competencies clearly mentioned in the law, with rights and obligations. If a person violates the law, or if he/she is wanted, in the country or abroad, it is natural for Moldova to cooperate with the competent institutions in those states, in strict accordance with the law.
We assure this politician that if there will be an official request for Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to intervene in handling the involvement of some Moldovan citizens in illegal actions, we will intervene.
We do not know exactly what the politician is referring to, but it is certain that it probably misleads the society through these comments,” Alina Zbancă declared for Ziarul de Gardă.
Through the press service of the Presidency, Dodon stated that he does not comment on the statements of political actors.
On July 23, the Russian News Agency TASS mentioned that Usatîi was announced in a national search by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to a TASS source from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the materials of Usatîi’s case will be sent to Interpol.
Earlier, Usatîi himself told TASS that, in his opinion, Interpol would not issue a Red Notice for his arrest because a few years ago, he acknowledged his persecution, organized by the former head of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc. According to Usatîi, in the investigation, he is accused of laundering $15 billion.
On July 23, Usatîi confirmed to the journalists that in Russia, he was announced in search and declared his innocence again.
In addition, according to Usatîi, Russian law enforcement plans to submit the case to Interpol next week, to determine his location.
In April 2020, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs accused in absentia Renato Usatîi, the mayor of Bălți, for organizing a criminal group. The Russian prosecutors accused him of withdrawing over €6.18 billion (500 billion rubles) from Russia through a bank in Moldova.