Vlad Filat, sentenced to 9 years in jail

Foto: zdg.md, Ghenadie Brega

Following 8 months of arrest, judges of the Court of Buiucani sector of the capital passed the judgment on Monday June 27 in the case of former liberal-democrat PM Vlad Filat. He is accused of passive corruption. The politician got nine years in jail, though the anticorruption prosecutor Adriana Betisor demanded 19 years. Also, Vlad Filat was fined 60.000 lei and was banned from holding public posts for a five-year period. He was deprived of the Order of the Republic which he received in 2013 and his property was confiscated. The decision can be challenged at the Court of Appeal Chisinau. The magistrates who examined the case of the former PM are Andrei Niculcea, Galina Moscalciuc and Sergiu Lazari.

Vlad Filat was not allowed to talk with journalists either after the judgment was passed. "It is an illegal sentence ", said the former PM.

"None of the evidence in this case was contested and no counterargument to the unveiled evidence has been brought. This punishment is not grounded. The sentence will be challenged ", said Adriana Betisor.

On the other hand, Igor Popa, lawyer of the former PM hopes that the judges of the Court of Appeal Chisinau will consider the evidence of the defense and will pass a sentence to acquit his client.

 "We think that this sentence cannot be justified as most of the evidence collected in this case was accumulated with errors and procedural defects, several fundamental principles such as the presumption of innocence, public hearings, the right to defense were violated, in particular the right of Vlad Filat to get a fair trial and the right to summon and question witnesses under the same conditions as witnesses against him ", said the lawyer. The defender described the process as a well-directed show, which would aim to eliminate Vlad Filat from the political arena of the Republic of Moldova. "We regard this case as a crime against justice and a crime against truth", said Popa.

Both civil society and Vlad Filat had previously requested that the hearing be public but all the meetings were held behind closed doors. Viorel Morari, head of Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office said that the hearings in the case of former PM must be held behind closed doors. According to him, if the society has access to the evidence by the defense, the pressure would be uneven.

Former Moldovan PM Vlad Filat was arrested on October 15 for passive corruption and influence peddling.  The politician was lifted the parliamentary immunity by the vote of 79 MPs, at the request of the former general prosecutor Corneliu Gurin. Vlad Filat was detained based on a self-denunciation by businessman Ilan Shor. Under the document, the businessman said that the circumstances relating to the company Le Bridge scandal forced him to ask Vlad Filat for help. He gave $ 500,000 bribe to end excessive checks, but also to win the trial. Shor said that Filat proposed him to redeem loans of BEM (Moldova Savings Bank) in the amount of a billion lei to resolve issues with customs and filling stations. The former prime minister has not honored his promise and he would not have returned the money to the businessman. Mayor of Orhei said that he had given to Vlad Filat a sum of 20 million lei last on October 10, 2015 "for the needs of the party" at the office of Liberal-Democrat Party in Moldova (LDPM) on str. Bucuresti in the capital. 


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