Three judges from the Supreme Court of Justice and a lawyer involved in a corruption case. Defender is accused and there is not enough evidence related to magistrates

Anastasia Nani
Sediul Curţii Supreme de Justiţie de pe strada Mitropolit Bănulescu-Bodoni. Foto: CIJM

Three judges from the Supreme Court of Justice, involved in a corruption case that was recently notified on the Corruption Map escape the investigation of prosecutors. The police claim that they do not have enough evidence to demand the magistrates to be deprived of immunity. The lawyer is the only accused for taking money from one of his clients to influence a decision of the judges.

Ala Cobaneanu,  Ion Druta and Galina Stratulat are targeted in an order of the National Anti-Corruption Center (CNA) on criminal prosecution. According to the document, Andrei Dunas, a lawyer from Cahul, involved in three other corruption cases, would have received from one of his clients, a businessman, 400 Euros to influence the judges from the Supreme Court of Justice to reject the appeal of a company - SRL Paine si Tehnologii–that  litigated with Cristal-Agat SRL. On 23 March 2016, the magistrates dismissed the appeal, a decision that favored the company Cristal-Agat. On June 7, Iurie Mitreanu, senior officer at the National Anti-corruption Office ordered the criminal case, showing the order of Anticorruption prosecutors. According to another ordinance dated June 7, "after checking the list of judges from the Supreme Court of Justice, it was established that Ala Cobaneanu is involved in this case, which was confirmed by decision of 23 March 2016 issued in the period when she was chairperson of  the judicial panel" .

"According to interceptions, the money was supposed to reach magistrates, but this should be checked," said Iurie Mitreanu.

"A criminal investigation for active corruption was started against the lawyer who received the money  and said that he could influence these magistrates. We cannot exclude or confirm their involvement. We did not carry out investigations   related to judges because we are not entitled to do it. They enjoy immunity as long as we do not have enough evidence to ask for consent to prosecute on them", said Viorel Morari, head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.

Judge Ala Cobaneanu decorated Tuesday, July 19, with the honorary title of "Veteran of the judiciary", informed us with the help of the employees from the  lobby of the Supreme Court of Justice that she does not comment on this situation  and that the investigating authorities should  solve this case.

Andrei Dunas did not answer the phone to provide details. The lawyer is involved in the case of Alexandru Malina, former head of the Prison No. 5 in Cahul. Both of them were arrested on 10 May by CNA officers and prosecutors on suspicion that they extorted 16,000 Euros and 13,300 dollars from a family of an interloper sentenced to 18 years in prison. According to the National Anticorruption Center, the suspects allegedly asked money from the prisoner's mother under the pretext that they can influence many judges and officials from the Department of Penitentiary Institutions to release her son early. The two had argued that they can get a certificate from the Department of Penitentiary Institutions attesting a serious illness and would release the convicted man early. Meanwhile, the defender was released under house arrest.


Anastasia Nani

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