Russian writer facing trial in Moldova 'absconds'
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||19 October 2011|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russian writer facing trial in Moldova 'absconds', 19 October 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4eaaa821c.html [accessed 18 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
October 19, 2011
CHISINAU – Authorities in Moldova say a Russian writer awaiting trial for allegedly inciting street violence during pro-democracy protests two years ago has disappeared from house arrest, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.
Maria Vieru, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General's Office, told RFE/RL that Eduard Bagirov was found to have disappeared from his home on October 18.
Moldovan media report that Bagirov's lawyer is declining to either confirm or deny that he has disappeared.
Bagirov was arrested in June and held in custody until earlier this month, when a court in Chisinau decided he should be placed under house arrest instead.
He was formally charged on October 12 with inciting violence in Chisinau in April 2009, when at least one demonstrator was killed in clashes with the police after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the apparent rigging of a parliamentary election to ensure a victory for the ruling 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.
Prosecutors, however, claim that in April 2009 Bagirov and others, far from promoting democracy, were trying to provoke street violence in order to compromise the democratic opposition and to justify tough police action against it.
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.