Anticorruption head predicts positive outcome: Dragalin declares the "start of the end" in illegal party financing cases

Viorica Mija
Colaj CIJM

Chief Prosecutor Veronica Dragalin stated that the accusers have irrefutable evidence in the files initiated for the alleged illegal financing actions of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and the Şor Party. On the other hand, the suspects, former PSRM President Igor Dodon and the leader of the Şor Party, Ilan Şor, who is being tried in absentia, claim that the evidence is the weak point of the accusation.

Veronica Dragalin expressed her confidence that the evidence in the "Kuliok" file, in which the former President of the Republic of Moldova is accused of accepting and receiving money from Vlad Plahotniuc to form an alliance with the PDM, proves his guilt.

"The fact that the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office has sent the case to court means that the prosecutors have sufficient evidence to prove the person's guilt. However, every citizen is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and ultimately, the judges will decide," Dragalin told Vocea Bessarabiei.

The prosecutors concluded the criminal investigation into the two charges of passive corruption and illegal financing of the PSRM on October 10, 2022. Igor Dodon is accused of "promoting the interests of Vlad Plahotniuc and Serghei Iaralov, who are believed to have created and led a criminal organization and sought to control the political, social, and economic processes in the Republic of Moldova, as well as to evade criminal responsibility in the Russian Federation, by demanding and accepting money from them in the amount of $600,000 to $1,000,000."

The funds were reportedly sought to pay for the current expenses of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova, including the salaries of its employees.

The file was submitted for examination on the merits to the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) in accordance with the provisions of Article 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The SCJ is competent to judge first-instance criminal cases concerning crimes committed by the President of the Republic of Moldova. The former head of state is being tried by a panel of three judges: Anatolie Turcanu, Vladimir Timofti, and Ghenadie Plămădeala.

On January 16, the former head of state's lawyers requested the recusal of the entire court panel, and Igor Dodon declared that "these dubious moves do not instill confidence in the administration of justice, especially when I observe that the same judge Timofti presides over all the panels that examine politically-motivated cases, including my case and yours, and also appoints himself to panels that examine the legality of the decisions of the Pre-Vetting Commission."

Regarding the illegal financing of the Şor Party, Dragalin stated that a group of prosecutors is gathering evidence, and the file will soon reach the court.

Viorica Mija

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