Moldova's pro-Kremlin politician Ilan Shor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud and money laundering, Jurnal reported on April 13.
Shor is believed to have left Moldova in June 2019, Jurnal wrote. He is likely in Israel, where he is also a citizen.
"Regardless of where he serves his sentence, whether in Israel or Moldova, his seized assets worth 5 billion lei ($1 billion) will now be confiscated in favor of the state. This is just for the case on which the decision was made today, and there are still others to come," Olesea Stamate, head of Moldova's Parliamentary Legal Committee said.
Shor and his political party of the same name have been under U.S. sanctions since October 2022. According to the U.S. Treasury, Shor worked "with Russian individuals to create a political alliance to control Moldova's parliament, which would then support several pieces of legislation in the interests of the Russian Federation" ahead of the 2021 elections.
Shor and his political faction are also believed to finance many of the anti-government protests against President Maia Sandu.
Responding to the news, Sandu said, "We wanted this so that justice would prevail for the people. This is what the citizens wanted: for the thieves to return the money, and the law was put at the forefront. Only in this way can justice gain legitimacy, through just legal decisions to punish thieves."
Russia's war in Ukraine has led to heightened security concerns in neighboring Moldova.
Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Rechan told TV8 in late February that authorities were aware of "several" ongoing Russian scenarios to destabilize the country, including a plan to take control of the Chisinau airport.