Moldova vows opposition leader graft probe will be in line with law

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Moldovan President Igor Dodon attends the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020. The military parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, was scheduled for May 9 but postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS

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KYIV, May 25 (Reuters) - Moldova on Wednesday vowed to ensure a corruption investigation into detained pro-Russian opposition leader Igor Dodon would be in strict accordance with the law after he accused the government of a politically motivated attack.

Dodon, who was president of the eastern European country until 2020, was detained on Tuesday for up to 72 hours following a search of his home. In a statement he said he was innocent and that the case had been fabricated. read more

"The ministry of justice will pay close attention to the progress of the investigation, so that everything is in strict accordance with the law," justice minister Sergiu Litvinenco, wrote on Facebook.

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"Corrupt politicians must answer before the law," he said, saying the government would keep its word to voters to reestablish justice in the country.

Dodon's arrest comes at a time when relations between Moscow and Chisinau are increasingly strained. Dodon blamed his detention on pro-Western President Maia Sandu, who he said wanted to distract people from the country's economic woes.

Fears have increased that Moldova could be drawn into the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine, after pro-Russian separatists in Moldova's Transdniestria region blamed Kyiv for what they said were shootings, explosions and drone incursions. read more

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it would carefully monitor the situation around the investigation.

"We would not like the current authorities to start settling scores with their former political rivals in the current situation," deputy foreign minister Andrei Rudenko was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

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Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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