Moldova's ex-prime minister Filat remanded in custody for one month
A court in Chisinau has ordered that a former Moldovan prime minister, Vlad Filat, be remanded in custody for 30 days.
The order was issued 15 minutes before Filat's 72-hour preliminary detention period expired, an Interfax correspondent reported from the court building. The court hearing lasted for more than seven hours, including three hours of the judges' deliberation.
The court resolution was issued on Sunday at the prosecutors' request.
Filat is charged with "large-scale passive corruption" and "taking advantage of influence with the taking of massive bribes." Under the Moldovan Criminal Code, Filat faces up to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 200,000 leus ($20,000) and being barred from public office or specific activity for ten to 15 years.
During the Sunday hearing, which lasted some three hours, the court building was picketed by two camps, supporters and opponents of Filat. Each picket involved several dozen people, including activists from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPM) chaired by Filat, and LDPM parliamentarians.
Several dozen police officers surrounded the court building, without interfering with the protests, and put a cordon between the two camps. The situation was quiet, despite occasional squabbles between Filat's supporters and opponents.
The former prime minister was detained on Thursday in the parliament building after the parliament voted for him to be stripped of his parliamentary immunity. The reason for the accusation was that Ilan Shora (the husband of pop singer Jasmine) turned himself in and said he had paid Filat some $250,000 in bribes since 2011.