Former prosecutor Ruslan Popov lost the lawsuit filed against the Center for Journalistic Investigations // After almost three years, the application was dropped

Cornelia Cozonac
Foto: CIJM

Former prosecutor Ruslan Popov, who held the position of Deputy Prosecutor General, lost the lawsuit against the Center for Investigative Journalism. This case was initiated after journalists from conducted several investigative reports regarding his undeclared wealth, and as a result of these investigations, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office launched a criminal case for illicit enrichment. Following the criminal case, Ruslan Popov also lost his position in the Prosecutor's Office. On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the Chisinau Court removed the lawsuit filed by Ruslan Popov from its docket.

Prosecutor Ruslan Popov sued the Center for Investigative Journalism, alleging that his honor and dignity were infringed after a journalistic investigation was published about his wealth and a business in Mileștii Mici that he managed but which was registered in the name of his father, a pensioner over 70 years old.

In October 2021, Ruslan Popov was detained by anti-corruption prosecutors and officers from the Intelligence and Security Service, suspected of illicit enrichment. He spent 30 days in pretrial detention and then 20 days under house arrest. Prosecutors conducted searches at the luxurious home of the prosecutor in the village of Milestii Mici, Ialoveni district, which had been reported on by several times.

The basis of the criminal case against the prosecutor was several investigative reports conducted by the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism in 2020 and 2021 about undeclared assets and undisclosed businesses. Reporters from the Center for Investigative Journalism found the parental home of Ruslan Popov's wife in the village of Utkonosovka, Ismail district, Ukraine, after he publicly claimed that he was assisted by his in-laws. The journalists discovered that Popov's mother-in-law led a modest life, sold her house for 18,000 euros, and did not have the means to financially assist her son-in-law.

In June 2022, the Disciplinary Board of the Superior Council of Prosecutors suspended Ruslan Popov from his position after he was accused by prosecutors of illicit enrichment. Subsequently, his wife, Iulia Popov, who was also a prosecutor, was suspended from her position after being accused, like her husband, of illicit enrichment and forging public documents in a criminal case initiated following the publication of the investigations by the Center for Investigative Journalism about the hidden wealth of both prosecutors.

In July 2022, the criminal case was sent to court. Ruslan Popov pleads not guilty.

Ruslan Popov was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General in December 2019.

Cornelia Cozonac

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