Three Former Directors of the Press House, Sentenced to Six Years of Imprisonment for Laundering Millions

Victoria Dodon
Foto: CIJM

Three directors, who managed the Press House in different times in the period 2008-2010 and the chief accountant of this institution were sentenced to six years in in semi-closed prison. According to the decision of the Court of Appeal, the four of them are charged with abuse of power which caused damage to public budget amounting to about two million lei.

The decision reads that  the former  directors Anatolie Dubrovschi,  Nicolae Lungu, Gheorghe Iutes and accountant Dina Timofti will be deprived of the right to occupy positions of responsibility or perform certain activities in public administration for a three-year period .

Portal previously wrote in a journalistic investigation about the three directors involved in money laundering. The criminal case on frauding this institution with millions of lei was opened in 2012. According to the case file materials, Anatolie Dubrovschi, appointed as director in 2006, allegedly granted illegal material aids of over 900,000 lei to the company’s staff for three years (2008–2010). Moreover, in the same period he awarded prizes of 81,000 and 86,000 lei to himself and to the chief accountant of the institution Dina Timofti, respectively.

Nicolae Lungu who came to the position of director after Dubrovschi (February–April 2010) in just two months would have managed to bring damages to the state by more than 119,000 lei, nearly 60,000 lei of which were granted to the staff as material aid, over 25,000 lei – prizes to themselves, and 35.000 de lei – for the accountant. The third director Gheorghe Iuteş (April-December 2010), contrary to the law, granted to the staff aids of over 480,000 lei. He took nearly 13,000 lei as prizes for himself and gave over 20,000 lei to the accountant. In total, the damages he allegedly caused can be estimated at nearly half a million lei.

Dina Timofti, chief-accountant, had been accused of being accomplice, alleged to have executed the illegal orders given by her superiors. Thus, the total damage that is said to have been caused by her and the three former directors is estimated at over 1.7 million lei.

On 31 January 2014, the Centru District Court acquitted the four “on the grounds that the act of the defendants does not gather the elements of a crime.” Disagreeing with the sentence, the prosecutor appealed the judgment and requested a punishment of six years of imprisonment. He argued that the sentence of the first instance court had been “adversely made and reasoned” and hid the illegal actions of the defendants.

On 20 October 2014, the Chişinău Court of Appeal finds guilty the persons in the case. Anatolie Dubrovschi, Gheorghe Iuteş and Nicolae Lungu were convicted to five years if imprisonment each, with suspension for up to three years. Dina Timofti was established a punishment of four years with suspension for up to two years. The defendants filed a second appeal and on 6 August inst., the Criminal College of the Supreme Court of Justice decided to quash completely the judgment of the Chişinău Court of Appeal and to have the case retried.

The investigation of portal reveals that the complex in the center of Chisinau used to be the office of journalists, while at present each fourth tenant is a media outlet, while the rest are business operators having no connection to the press. Moreover, in 2013, the Court of Account held an audit at all the institutions subordinated to the State Chancery. The report reveals that in 2012, the representatives of the State Company “Casa Presei” committed many infringements when letting out spaces, and namely, that in 21 cases, the areas established in the rent agreement did not correspond with the data from the geometric plan.

Victoria Dodon

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