The criminal case against former Prime Minister Vlad Filat for alleged money laundering is facing delays due to difficulties in hearing witnesses. The prosecutor in the case requested that the court summon a witness from Romania, the founder of a company through which Filat allegedly transferred over 12 million lei to a consulting firm in the United States.
However, the witness has refused to appear for the hearing and sent a written statement stating his refusal to come. Another key witness in the case is an American citizen who is the representative of the consulting firm, and cannot be forced to come to Chisinau to give statements in the trial.
Only one witness has been heard during the four years since the case was launched. The main prosecution witness, Ion Rusu, who was the godfather of Filat and Angela Gonța's wedding, has died. Both Filat and his defenders deny any procrastination in the case.
The former prime minister, Vlad Filat, is facing allegations of money laundering in particularly large proportions during 2013. The accusations state that he used an intermediary, with whom he had close relations, to carry out the transfers. On July 1, 2013, it is alleged that Filat entered into a contract with a consulting company in Washington, USA, for assistance in the electoral campaign for a political party in the parliamentary elections of November 2014. For the contracted services, Filat is accused of paying the non-resident company a total amount of 12,847,902 lei through periodic transfers from the accounts of companies managed by the intermediary. These accounts allegedly contained financial means obtained through corruption offenses from the Banca de Economii. According to the evidence presented, it has been established that the funds, the origin of which was intended to be concealed, were received by Filat following the commission of the crimes of influence peddling and passive corruption.
Under the law, individuals found guilty of money laundering in particularly large proportions can face a prison sentence ranging from five to ten years.
Filat was arrested on October 15, 2015, on charges of passive corruption and influence peddling. He was stripped of his parliamentary immunity by a vote of 79 deputies at the request of the former general prosecutor, Corneliu Gurin. This request was made following a self-denunciation by Ilan Şor. The Center for Investigative Journalism has published a journalistic investigation, which claims that at least two of the people whom Ilan Șor claims were intermediaries in the granting of bribes, in the amount of 320 million lei, have never been to the Republic of Moldova and have no knowledge of Ilan Sor and Vlad Filat.
The former prime minister was released from prison in December 2019, after serving four years and two months of a 9-year prison sentence.