In ‘Puterea a Patra’ TV program, Prosecutor General of Moldova Alexander Stoyanoglo stated, ‘I can tell you that state institutions were involved. We have identified the people who participated in Chaus case’.
According to him, Ukrainians are involved in the crime. Moldovan police are trying to identify them.
‘We have identified people from Ukrainian security forces who also took part. We have completed the investigation here in the Republic of Moldova. We have sent several inquiries to Ukraine and are waiting for answers. Our task is to identify people who came from Ukraine and operated in the Republic of Moldova,’ Stoianoglo added.
Who is Mykola Chaus?
Mykola Chaus is an ex-judge of the Dniprovskyi District Court of Kyiv, known for making decisions against Avtomaidan. He was subject to lustration procedure, but was not lustrated.
On August 9, 2016, detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine caught Mykola Chaus on a bribe of $ 150,000.
However, the judge was not detained because, according to the Constitution, he had judicial immunity.
On November 28, 2017, the High Council of Justice dismissed Mykola Chaus from the position of a judge.In October, Interpol declared Chaus wanted. Later, he was found in Moldova.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the Moldovan government to facilitate the extradition of Mykola Chaus.
In Moldova, the Supreme Court was scheduled on April 22 to grant political asylum to the ex-judge, and Chaus had no chance of winning the extradition trial.
On April 3, Chaus’s lawyer, Julian Balan, said that a group of unknown people with weapons had kidnapped his client.Moldovan President Maia Sandu reacted to this.
A video was also released, which probably recorded the moment of the abduction.
Subsequently, the Moldovan media stated that Chaus had been taken to Ukraine in a Toyota RAV 4, which allegedly belonged to the Ukrainian embassy.
Then the same channel reported that the military attaché of the embassy Serhii Smetaniuk was allegedly driving the Toyota RAV 4.
Details by Bukvy:
Investigative journalists informed that Ukrainians related to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine were involved in the abduction of Mykola Chaus.
In particular, Ukrainian investigative journalist agency Slidstvo.Info and the community of Moldovan investigative journalists RISE Moldova published evidence of involvement of Ukrainian security forces in the abduction of Chaus. According to journalists, the Moldovan police are investigating the involvement of up to two dozen Ukrainians in the kidnapping of the ex-judge. Among the people involved, there are at least two persons related to the Main Intelligence Directorate (Yurii Kovalenko and Andrii Kutsenko).
There is a version that the purpose of kidnapping was to involve the former head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Vasyl Burba. It had to be done before the release of Bellingcat’s film about the failure of a special operation to detain Wagnerians. Earlier, Burba had witnessed concerning the Wagner group operation and President’s office was looking for compromising information on him.
On April 9, the Moldovan parliament approved a commission of inquiry to establish the circumstances of the abduction of Ukrainian ex-judge Mykola Chaus. The commission included 9 deputies from all parliamentary groups.
The Moldovan police have already identified Ukrainians involved in the abduction of Chaus.Ukraine did not cooperate with Moldovan investigators in the case.
In May, Chaus suddenly shot a video in which he said that everything was fine with him. However, the metadata of the video turned out to be very interesting. The video was edited with the professional video editing program Adobe Premiere Pro, which is installed on MacBook. This program is quite difficult to master and use. This may mean that Chaus was helped to create this video, and that it could be a planned media campaign.
In June, Moldovan Socialist MPs accused President Sanda of involvement in the abduction of the Ukrainian ex-judge. She will defend herself in court. Moldova’s parliament commission later said it considered Chaus’s abduction a way to put pressure on Poroshenko by Zelensky.