Moldova Says 17 Arrested In Plot to Assassinate Leading Politician

Prosecutors say that 17 people have been detained in Moldova and Ukraine in a suspected plot to assassinate Vladimir Plahotniuc, one of Moldova’s most powerful politicians.

Vitalie Busuioc of the Moldovan Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime said on April 8 they had seized money and weapons, including grenade launchers, that were to be used in plot to kill Plahotniuc, a businessman who is also the head of the Democratic Party, the largest partner in Moldova's pro-European governing coalition.

Eight of the suspects were arrested in Moldova, while the nine others were in Ukraine, according to Busuioc.

Ion Iachimov of the Moldovan National Investigation Inspectorate said two Moldovans, one of whom is currently in Moscow, ordered the murder in exchange for $200,000.

The Democratic Party said in a statement that it "firmly condemned this criminal act."

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said on April 7 that the authorities had thwarted an assassination attempt against Plahotniuc.