Iulian Rusu, who served as the director of Moldova Top Anti-corruption Official National Anticorruption Centre (CNA), has stepped down, as confirmed by Igor Grosu, the speaker of parliament, through a Facebook announcement.
“I took note of the resignation request of the CNA director, Iulian Rusu, which arrived at my address today. We thank Mr Rusu for his efforts,” Grosu wrote.
In February 2022, Rusu assumed the role of CNA director. Prior to this, he served as a justice expert at the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) in Chisinau.
The parliament speaker announced that a new director will be appointed soon. Additionally, he emphasized the need for the Anti-Corruption Agency (CNA) to expedite corruption investigations, halt illicit financial activities, and enhance the institution’s integrity. He called for an accelerated reform of the CNA to purge it of detrimental practices and individuals.
Moldova Top Anti-corruption Official is set to hold municipal elections in under a month, raising concerns about the potential for electoral misconduct.
The previous week, law enforcement confiscated a bag with €550,000 in cash and 1,900 bank cards that had their origin in Dubai. Officials stated that the individual in possession of the bag had a close connection to the elusive oligarch, Ilan Shor.
Throughout this year, Rusu and the leader of the Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, Veronica Dragalin, had multiple disputes, with each party accusing the other of ineffective cooperation. According to Rusu, the Prosecutor’s Office was reluctant to launch investigations based on the CNA’s evidence.
In April, Rusu arrived at the parliament to express dissatisfaction with the absence of collaboration, whereas the Prosecutor’s Office asserted that Rusu’s remarks were reckless. Specifically, officers from the National Anticorruption Center (CNA) had acquired fresh evidence related to the hotel privatization case. However, the prosecution declined to initiate a case despite the emergence of this new evidence.
However, three weeks ago, Rusu announced that the issues had been resolved.
Arina Spataru, a former deputy who recently conducted a covert operation against the fugitive oligarch Shor in collaboration with state institutions, disclosed that this operation led to misunderstandings between the CNA and the PA.
The operation involved only four individuals – Spataru, a representative from the CNA, one from the PA, and one from the Intelligence and Security Service, SIS.
In the realm of politics, Rusu’s resignation precedes the European Commission’s assessment of Moldova’s compliance with nine key conditions, six of which pertain to justice reform and the anti-corruption campaign.
The European Council will cast a positive or negative vote in December regarding Moldova’s eligibility to commence EU accession negotiations based on this report and political considerations.