Moldovan ex-Prime Minister charged over airport concession

Moldova's former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca.
Moldova's former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca. Photo credit: Reuters

Moldovan former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca has been charged with abuse of power over a concession that gave control of the country's main airport to a businessman now in exile, a senior prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Veronica Dragalin, head of Moldova's anti-corruption prosecution office, said a former economy minister and six other former officials also faced similar charges in a criminal case which she said had been referred to court.

All the accused pleaded not guilty, she told a news conference in the Moldovan capital Chisinau.

The 2013 concession handed control of Chisinau International Airport for a 49-year term to a company associated with politician and businessman Ilan Shor, who fled Moldova in 2019 after the election of pro-Western President Maia Sandu.

An appeals court ruled last November that control of the airport should return to the state.