The Energocom case, in which Igor Dodon is under investigation,doesn't move from its place . Over a year since it entered the court, half of the hearings have been postponed, and the case has currently reached the stage of hearing witnesses. Experts suggest that this may be an attempt to prolong the trial, allowing the accused to potentially escape punishment, as reported by protv.md. The fraudulent schemes used were exposed in investigations by the Center for Investigative Jouirnalism back in 2008, but Igor Dodon has consistently denied the accusations.
This week, a new session at the Buiucani district court was postponed upon the request of the prosecutors handling the case. This delay was due to the unavailability of two prosecution witnesses.
"The accuser provided a list specifying that, for the court session related to the Energocom case, I needed to ensure the presence of two witnesses. However, I was informed that they were unable to appear," explained the case prosecutor, Ion Pripa.
Since the Energocom case reached the court in September of last year, 25 hearings have been scheduled, according to the court's website. Out of these, 11 were postponed, 11 were interrupted, and only three actually took place.
Cornelia Cozonac, the president of the Center for Journalistic Investigations and one of the authors of the journalistic investigation that prompted the initiation of this criminal case, argues that the frequent postponements are prolonging the legal process.
"Numerous meetings have been postponed, by both sides, but Igor Dodon's legal team has requested most of the postponements. They likely aim to delay the proceedings in order to find loopholes to potentially exonerate Igor Dodon, as often occurs in our country," said Cozonac.
She believes that the future of this case remains uncertain.
"The judges also seem to lack urgency, especially those with an interest in defending Igor Dodon. There shouldn't be any problems with this case, and it should be expedited. The evidence should be thoroughly examined, and a determination should be made promptly as to whether Igor Dodon is guilty or not," stated the CIJM president.
The president of the Moldovan Legal Resources Center maintains that the frequent postponements of court hearings are a systemic issue in our country's judicial system.
"Not every minor procedural issue should warrant a postponement. Those under investigation often use this tactic to delay proceedings, as exemplified by the Shor case. I'm not implying that the same necessarily occurs in the Energocom case, but there are certain similarities," noted the CRJM president, Ilie Chirtoacă.
One of Igor Dodon's lawyers stated that the defense team has been present at all the scheduled meetings.
"In most cases, postponements were due to the absence of the Energocom representative or the prosecutor. The majority of the meetings were productive and were postponed for legitimate reasons. This case has been handled very seriously, and within a year, we will conclude the prosecution's witness hearings," commented lawyer Nicolae Posturusu.
According to the prosecutors, in the Energocom case, Dodon is accused of providing an opinion during his tenure as Minister of Economy, which led to the signing of a contract in May 2008 for the procurement of electricity at an inflated price for the Republic of Moldova. The damage inflicted on the public budget is estimated at 123 million lei. Igor Dodon, who is also targeted in two other cases, vehemently denies these accusations.
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