The Moldovan government has launched a criminal investigation into the claims that a member of parliament was “kidnapped” and "forced to resign" after he defected from the ruling Socialists party.
The leader of the party “Pro-Moldova” Andrian Candu wrote a letter claiming his colleague Ștefan Gațcan had been "kidnapped, intimidated and forced to resign as a member of parliament,” on behalf of President Igor Dodon.
Gațcan, a doctor by profession, announced his defection in a facebook post prior to his alleged kidnapping, pointing to his frustration with the government's poor response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This came at a time in which the pro-Russian government, controlled by the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), has recently felt the loss of several defected deputies.
Ștefan Gațcan escalated things greatly as he would have assured the opposition a parliamentary majority. The Kremlin and Putin influenced leadership of Moldova essentially resorted to the kidnapping of this deputy.
Before Gațcans alleged kidnapping there are reports that the police stopped Gațcan and two former colleagues on the street; they proceeded to get into his car in an attempt to convince him to resign from the position of deputy.
In conjunction Moldovan media wrote that the doctor’s relatives were also threatened.
The next morning, Gațcan filed a complaint with the General Prosecutor’s Office stating he and his family were blackmailed and threatened to force him to resign as a deputy.
Two days after the alleged kidnapping, a masked Gațcan appeared in a video posted by Socialist MP Corneliu Furculiță. This has led to suspicions that his face was injured after having been beaten by deputies from PSRM.
"He repeatedly informs us that he is fine, he has voluntarily resigned as a deputy, but he needs a short rest period," Furculiță wrote in the caption.
Corneliu Furculiță who is a childhood friend of President Igor Dodon, claimed that Ștefan Gațcan told him that he received and declined an offer of a 500,000 euro bribe to leave the party.
President Igor Dodon has even accused the Democrats of buying MPs “piece by piece”, and said Gațcan’s price was $1.2mn.
In his most recent interview with Romanian Journalist, Gațcan said he will return soon and “make complete statements in Moldova’s Parliament. There are many speculations. I wasn’t abducted. I chose to leave voluntarily. I came to Romania because I can come here and no one stops me. I stayed in Romania for several days. I’m fine as you see.”
Currently, there have been no reports by the Moldovan Government or any publications on the progress of the investigation.