Judges involved in Russian money laundering scheme placed in custody

(UPDATE 3:43 p.m.) Fourth Russian judge involved in the scheme was placed in custody for 30 days. It Sergei Gubenco, president of the Appeal Court.

(UPDATE 2:39 p.m.) The third judge was arrested for 30 days for involvement in the so-called "Russian Laundry". It's about Sergei Lebediuc.

(12:17) The two judges, Iurie Turcan and Gheorghe Birnaz, involved in the Russian money laundering scheme were placed in custody for 30 days.

The decision was taken by Buiucani Court magistrates. Also today, the decision whether the other 14 judges and three court officers will be placed in custody will be made.

Prosecutors say they had asked magistrates to be investigated in custody because they can not influence the investigation.

"The criminal case is incipient. Follows gathering the evidence, also the risk of influence on potential witnesses and other accomplices exists, and the prosecuting authority will establish it" , said the prosecutor of the Anticorruption, Mariana Botezatu.

Ţurcanu's lawyer says he will appeal the court decision. Gheorghe Birnaz was also arrested.

Earlier, media wrote that Veaceslav Platon, the no.1 raider in CIS would sit behind the scheme.

All 18 suspects were detained after dozens of searches carried out in offices, homes and their cars. The operation was conducted by the National Center for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Corruption Prosecutor.

In total, 20 officials are involved in the scheme.

One is given in the search, and another is abroad. The suspects face up to 10 years in prison.

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