You know, I don’t often write about Moldovan politics. There are a number of reasons for this, the biggest one being that I still don’t feel completely confident about exactly what’s going on. Moldova may be a small country, but it is… very different, and often what you see on the news is just the tip of the iceberg.
Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist writing about this bonkers article. As a bit of background, the long-time mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, is under house arrest because of an ongoing corruption investigation into an alleged no-bid contract with the city to build a parking lot.
You’d really have to live here to realize how weird the whole thing is because Chisinau is nothing like Romanian cities where the streets are narrow and the sidewalks are clogged with parked cars. In Chisinau, people just park right on the street. Yep, even on the biggest streets. So a parking lot where you pay to park is… well, it’s odd.
But back to Chirtoaca and his house arrest. My translation between the lines:
Mihai Ghimpu, the leader of the Moldovan Liberal Democratic Party [note: Ghimpu is Chirtoaca’s uncle], gave a press conference a few minutes ago about the Chisinau mayor, Dorin Chirtoaca, saying that the accusations against him (Chirtoaca) are completely unfounded and that the only so-called proof against him is a cat named Shura.
The head of (Chisinau)’s Public Transportation department, Igor Gamretski, has a sister who lives in Germany, and it is her company that won the contract to build a parking lot in Chisinau.
But what Mihai Ghimpu said next is quite extraordinary. He said that Gamretski’s sister has a cat named Shura, and at some point, under circumstances not clearly explained by Ghimpu, Chirtoaca was photographed with Shura the cat.
According to Ghimpu, that photo of Chirtoaca and Shura together forms the basis of the case against Chirtoaca which led to his arrest and the ongoing investigation against him.
According to Ghimpu, all the other evidence gathered by the prosecutors is insufficient to prove Chirtoaca’s guilt.
It’s rare that I’m left speechless, but this is one of those times.
I couldn’t find any photos of Shura (Șura) the cat or Chirtoaca with any cat (he doesn’t seem like an animal lover to me), so I’ll share a photo of one of our cats.
Who knows? Maybe one day it’ll be used in a file to prosecute me for something :P