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Moldova makes arrest in post-election killing

CHISINAU - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 4/10/2010 12:00:00 AM |

A policeman has been arrested in connection with the death of a protester during the violent antigovernment demonstrations in Chisinau last year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Moldovan Service reported.

A policeman has been arrested in connection with the death of a protester during the violent antigovernment demonstrations in Chisinau last year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Moldovan Service reported.

The Moldovan prosecutor's office announced on April 7 that Ion Perju has been charged with killing 27-year-old Valeriu Boboc on April 7, 2009.

Moldovan Interior Minister Victor Catana confirmed the arrest in an interview with RFE/RL's Moldovan Service Friday. He said more arrests will follow, but did not elaborate.

Catana told RFE/RL the work of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary is difficult because for six months after the protests last April, the communist government "did their best" to destroy as much evidence as possible about their reprisals against demonstrators.

When the current ruling coalition came to power last fall, it promised to tell the whole truth about the April 2009 unrest that followed the controversial March parliamentary elections that the opposition claims were fraudulent. Hundreds of protesters were detained and many suffered serious injuries and accused police of beating them.

On April 5, acting President Mihai Ghimpu and Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca showed journalists a videotape of last year's protests.

In one scene on the videotape, several men are shown kicking what appears to be an unconscious man lying on the pavement in Chisinau's main square. Ghimpu and Chirtoaca said the assailants were policemen in plain clothes and the man they were attacking was Boboc.

Boboc was pronounced dead in the early hours of April 8 at a Chisinau hospital. The official cause of death was given as inhalation of poisonous gas. His case was reopened after the current ruling coalition won elections in July.

On April 7, Boboc was posthumously awarded the country's highest award. 

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