Ukrainian judge Mykola Chaus, who had been hiding from the authorities in Moldova for several years, was kidnapped in Chisinau in early April. Thus, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova has already detained two suspects in the case, and investigative journalists from RISE Moldova and Slidstvo.info have published an article with details stating that Ukrainians associated with Ukrainian intelligence are involved in the kidnapping, but the intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of our country denies this information. reports the main thing about the case.
The kidnapping of Chaus: how it began
Mykola Chaus after a number of scandalous judgements (he, in particular, imposed a judgement against AutoMaidan and should have been lustrated, but this did not happen) and after being accused of extortion and receiving a bribe of $150,000 that were found buried in his yard, about four years has been illegally hiding from the authorities of the country in Moldova.
After it became known in March that Ukraine would demand the extradition of the judge, on April 3 he was kidnapped by three unknown persons on a street in Chisinau. This information was confirmed by Moldovan law enforcement officers, stating that he was taken over the border with Ukraine. At that time the information was commented on by the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, who called the situation unacceptable, while the Ukrainian side declares that it has nothing to do with the kidnapping. Minister of Foreign Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine was not involved and suggested creating a joint working group on this issue.
Later, the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova, Pavel Voicu, said that the divisions of the department were conducting an investigation, and they had already managed to establish the identity of some of the Chaus kidnapping organizers and detain one suspect. Law enforcers have already found the cars used by the criminals, got fingerprints, found their correspondence that was carried out in Ukrainian, and identified some of the kidnappers and their route.
Later, the General Prosecutor's Office of Moldova reported another detainee in this case. The 30-year-old suspect was detained on May 9 while entering Moldova, and the next day he was announced on suspicion of organizing and carrying out the kidnapping.
What is known about the kidnapping of Chaus: details
The kidnapping details have already been clarified by the investigative journalists of RISE Moldova and the Ukrainian Slidstvo.info. The article says that the judge's kidnapping was planned at least 19 days in advance. Since March 15, more than 10 people have followed Chaus. They arrived in Moldova in separate groups and often changed their place of residence. Five presented false passports at customs. One of them apparently was the Ukrainian Yurii Kovalenko, who is allegedly connected with Ukrainian intelligence.
When he arrived in Moldova, he rented a Hyundai Accent equipped with a GPS system, and that allowed to track his route. For three days he drove the same route, including to the house where Chaus lived. Later, Yurii Kovalenko's "partner", together with "Eduard Stavytskyi," whose real name is Andriy Kutsenko, and he is also allegedly connected with military intelligence, rented a Volkswagen Jetta also having a GPS and drove it to Chaus's house. Later, Oleksii Sotnykov rented a Renault Megane without a GPS system in the same company, and the Ukrainian Oleksii Nechaiev took the same Volkswagen Jetta. The latter also came to the judge's house and on March 31 parked next to three cars near Park of Sergey Lazo—Ford Transit, Mercedes Benz, and Renault Scenic, two of which would later be used to kidnap the judge.
On April 3, several hours before the Chaus kidnapping, Kovalenko and Kutsenko were at the Otaci-Mohyliv-Podilskyi border crossing point. They appeared there after crossing the point driving Toyota with diplomatic plates that, probably, got Chaus out of the country.
The case also involves Oleh Stadnyk, against whom a criminal case was opened in Moldova last year, Oleksandr Kosteniuk, who, according to the investigation, previously worked in the Lviv National Police, Roman Kozhushko, Mykhailo Buleha, Yurii Tkach, and Bohdan Kuzmak, Andrii Soltys and Taras Shtoiko, who left Moldova after Kovalenko and Kutsenko.
At the same time, the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Cherniak, denied in a comment to media outlet Hromadske that the agency is involved in kidnapping, stating that "this is a provocation of the Russian special services to discredit the military intelligence of Ukraine and in order to embroil the two fraternal peoples."