The Court of Appeal Chisinau upheld the decision of the first instance in which Veaceslav Negruta, former Minister of Finance, was sentenced to three years probation by Rascani District Court of the capital in the case of record-compensations estimated at 400,000 euros, offered to Pantelei Sandulachi former Liberal-Democrat MP and member of the first Parliament. This information was confirmed for Anticorruption portal by prosecutors who investigated the case. The decision was dictated on November 30.
The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal rejected the prosecutor's appeal against the sentence of the first instance, and that of Veaceslav Negruta’s lawyer. Ex-minister was accused by prosecutors of having committed abuse of power in the workplace. This led to serious consequences in 2012.
It all started after Pantelei Sandulachi asked to be paid moral and financial damages because the former Communist government fabricated two cases against him. He has been in courts for 9 years and over this period of time he lost his business.
After in January 2012 the judges from the Court of Appeal were more generous than the High Court in Strasbourg, lawyers from the Ministry of Finance did not hurry to contest the decision at the Supreme Court of Justice. The prosecutors did it and later on representatives of the Ministry filed an application to join their appeal. Thus, on 19 July 2012, the judges of the Supreme Court of Justice ruled that Pantelei Sandulachi must get only 1,000 euros and the remaining sum of 399,000 euros must be returned to the state.
So far, Pantelei Sandulachi returned only 300,000 lei to the state, the sum which the executors found in his account. In all, employees of the Ministry of Financed transferred to him 6,250,480 lei (400,000 euros) on 20 February 2012 (the day of transfer).
Prosecutors appealed the sentence and requested the exclusion of the application of suspended sentence on a probation period. Magistrates of the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal of the prosecutors. The court's decision is final and enforceable, but it may be challenged at the Supreme Court of Justice.
In an interview for the portal Anti- corruption, Maia Sandu, former Minister of Education, called the case of Veaceslav Negruta a clear example of political police. "I was horrified to find that an honest person has been convicted in a country where the biggest thieves are not convicted. For me, it is a clear example of political police. Also, it is a message, very clear message, on behalf of people who control the law bodies, addressed to few honest people who were appointed for responsible public office, that their place is not here. So, it is clear that Negruta bothers and the message is that such people should not be accepted for these posts. All those who were involved in handling and examining this case know very well that Negruta did not profit of his public office", said Maia Sandu.