Moldovan Parliament lifts immunity of ex-PM over bank fraud

CHISINAU: Moldova's Parliament has lifted the immunity of a former prime minister so he can be probed on suspicion of involvement in a bank fraud of up to $1.5 billion.

A total of 79 lawmakers out of 101 voted Thursday to lift the immunity of Vlad Filat, who was prime minister from 2009 to 2013, so he can be investigated for the money that went missing from three banks ahead of Nov. 2014 elections.

Filat, the most senior politician to ever have his immunity lifted, denies wrongdoing and says the probe is politically motivated.

General prosecutor Corneliu Gurin says Filat had taken bribes of $260 million from a businessman and had indirectly given him control of one of the banks.

Thousands have protested since Sept. 6 demanding a probe.