INDICTMENT: April 7, 2009. How torturing policemen, judges and prosecutors were (NOT) held accountable
On April 7-8, 2009, when thousands of young people went out to protest against the April 5 parliamentary election fraud, and police forces were mobilized to repress the peaceful protest, hundreds of young people were detained forcefully, and taken to police commissariats, where they were humiliated and tortured. Dozens of prosecutors and judges went to police commissariats and judged the young people maltreated for mass disorder or hooliganism without taking any attitude to police atrocities. Ten years after the events of April 2009, we find that several files were closed or suspended and the truth was not revealed. Not a representative of the judiciary and the law enforcement has been held accountable. Moreover, most of them have been promoted.
Not a single case started against the inactions of the police in case of devastation of Parliament and Presidency buildings
Most of the police officers who detained and tortured the young participants in the anti-government protest on 6-7 April 2009 were not held accountable for the atrocities they committed, on contrary, they were promoted .
Similarly, none of the leaders of the law enforcement was held accountable for action or inaction in case of devastation of the Parliament and Presidency buildings. During the protests in April 2009, the police did not intervene, even if the buildings of the main state institutions were devastated. The April 7th Inquiry Commission, headed by deputy Vitalie Nagacevschi, repeatedly mentions that the number of policemen was numerically higher than that of violent people. Similarly, the report mentions that the law enforcement did not provide for the protection of devastated buildings, and when fire broke out on higher floors, the buildings were controlled by the force structures.
The police intervened on April 7 after 11 pm. At that time, in the Great National Assembly Square (PMAN), according to the official data indicated in the commission's report, there were 50-60 peaceful young people and 20-30 violent people. The number of police officers who were in the square was 200-300 (!), showed the report. Here is a passage described in the report: "From the web cam video on the Government building, it is very clear that the actions of the police officers were very violent and disproportionate to the situation that determined them. The young people, who were in the PMAN and in the vicinity, gathered in the center of the square, lying on the ground and beaten cruelly by police officers in uniform as well as civilians. In spite of the fact that the detained people did not oppose any kind of resistance, those who were supposed to ensure their integrity and security, hit them merciless."
"Later, the young people are loaded into a van. The images show that people who have been arrested and beaten are loaded like bags. As there was not enough place in the van, the young men were loaded in a minibus that appeared instantly. Among the detained persons is a girl, who is also beaten by the police. A single person who, after the blows, does not show signs of life, is loaded into a Niva car and taken to an unknown direction. Based on all the information available to members of the Inquiry Commission, one can assume that he was the regretted Boboc”, reads the report of the parliamentary commission.
Not a day in jail
Among the police officers who gave orders during the protests are: the then Interior Minister Gheorghe Papuc and Vladimir Botnari, former police chief commissioner of Chisinau municipality, tried in a criminal case for professional negligence, which caused the death of Valeriu Boboc.
In 2015, Gheorghe Papuc was sentenced by the Chisinau Court of Appeal to four years in prison in the "April 7" file. The former official was allowed to leave the courtroom and perhaps the country. Vladimir Botnari was sentenced to two years in prison. But both of them were acquitted in 2016 by the Supreme Court ruling. Later, Papuc was elected chairman of the Banca Sociala Council, one of three devalued banks, following the theft of a billion of dollars, with the help of Ilan Shor. After the bank was liquidated, Papuc became a business partner of the former communist MP and current socialist counselor, Svetlana Popa, who was targeted in several journalistic investigations of having been involved in illegal business with land.
Vladimir Botnari currently heads the Security Department at Moldtelecom Company.
Valentin Zubic, former Deputy Minister of the Interior Ministry, who coordinated the intervention of the law enforcement in the Great National Assembly Square on the night of April 7 to 8, 2009, as well as other accomplices, were acquitted. In March 2011, prosecutors filed charges, but in two years' time, magistrates at the Centru District Court annulled the charge order. This, though at the hearings several police commissioners told prosecutors that on 7-8 April, Valentin Zubic ordered them to detain young protesters. Video recordings prove that on April 7th, the former Deputy Minister of the Interior was in the Great National Assembly Square with several heads of the Interior Ministry. Zubic's name appears several times in the report of the April 7th Inquiry Commission.
Now Valentin Zubic is the manager of the Argus-S security company, one of the companies founded by the Dutch offshore Otiv Prime Services B.V., affiliated to Vlad Plahotniuc.
The current Minister of Internal Affairs, Alexandru Jizdan, was in 2009 head of the Operational Services Department of the Interior Ministry, services that detained the young protesters. Several criminally investigated police officers said they got ordered from Jizdan. However, he did not appear in any of the April 7 files but he was decorated by Minister Papuc for having fulfilled his duties during the April 7 events.
Former Chief of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Interior Ministry, Alexandru Pânzari, was prosecuted for consciously accepting false testimony in a case in which the brothers Stepuleac were detained, being accused of having participated in the violent protests in front Parliament on April 7, 2009. In the autumn of 2016, Chisinau Court of Appeal acquitted the policeman. Despite the criminal case, Alexandru Pânzari was promoted. In October 2015, he was promoted to the position of acting director of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions and on 30 March 2016 he was appointed Chief of the General Police Inspectorate.
"It seems that the police officers' failure to maintain public order during the April 7, 2009, or even to leave them “under the stones, smoke and fire..." without the possibility to respond, was "rewarded” by offering the possibility of arbitrarily arresting and maltreating any young people "suspected of involvement in disorder"”, reads the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee.
Real number of detained people still unknown
The police detained people both on the night of April 7 and 8 and on April 8-12, 2009. The real number of detained people is still unknown after ten years of sad events. The Interior Ministry operated with 206 people, saying that "they were administratively detained and documented officially, of which 29 were fined and 91 got administrative arrest and 117 were arrested in criminal matters." The Prosecutor General's Office stated in an official letter to Vladimir Ţurcan, the President of the State Commission, signed by the former Prime Minister of the Prosecutor General, Vasile Pascari, that "120 persons were detained in criminal cases and 128 persons were detained in administrative cases, and 182 persons were detained in criminal cases - for participation in the mass disorder of 07.04.2009.
Chisinau City Hall presented to the press a database of 328 people detained and ill-treated in the police commissariats. The non-governmental organization The Institute for Human Rights operated with a database of 467 people and a group of lawyers supported by the Soros-Moldova Foundation documented 674 people detained by the police.
The inquiry commission, headed by Vitalie Nagacevschi, indicated a number of about 700 people detained by police after the April 7, 2009 events. The committee report shows that many people were not included in the police commissariats registers, some of them being released, without being documented, although all of them were maltreated. "The Investigation Commission notes that some obvious discrepancies appear in the CGP Chisinau registers, where the number of persons brought to the commissariat is rectified on 6 pages, that means it is reduced by about 300 people", reads the quoted report.
The Investigation Commission also found that 64 people detained in Chisinau were taken without any objective reason to the police commissariats in Drochia, Vulcanesti and Taraclia. „The "distribution" of the persons, administratively sanctioned, for the punishment in the Moldovan police commissariats, was randomly made by the police officers of the Interior Ministry at the order of Deputy Prime Minister V. Zubic", reads the commission's report.
After the April 2009 events, prosecutors filed 102 criminal files against police officers who tortured protesters detained.
One of the policeman who tortured the young people arrested in April 2009 is the former deputy commissioner of Chisinau, Petru Corduneanu, currently MP on the lists of socialists and close man of Igor Dodon. On April 7, Corduneanu was recorded by the video cams as he was hitting the young people who were lying in the Great National Assembly Square, including Boboc, who was killed. Several young people said they were beaten by Corduneanu, but prosecutors ignored the testimonies of the victims. Petru Corduneanu and his deputy-head Dumitru Rusu were accused of beating the ex-deputy Valentina Cusnir on the night of April 7 to 8, 2009. In 2016, both were punished. Meanwhile, Corduneanu was protected by the Socialists, the President Dodon, whom he accompanied in one of the pilgrimages on Mount Athos.
One of the torturers, Sergiu Cociorva, was colonel, deputy chief of the Operative Services Department in April 2009 . He has been publicly accused several times of having maltreated youth in the commissariats. In 2010, Cociorva was promoted to police commissioner of Chisinau municipality. This, despite the fact that over 500 people have signed a petition against his promotion. A few months after his appointment, he resigned, but he was reinstated shortly. In 2015, the then head of state Nicolae Timofti refused to sign a decree on promoting Sergiu Cociorva. One year later, he retired and withdrew from the structures of the Interior Ministry.
Ruslan Saachian, targeted in Mătăsaru and other files, remained to work in the police, and from May 2016 he leads the Ciocana Police Inspectorate of Chisinau. During these ten years, Saachian, currently colonel, was suspended from office several times for several violations at work place The colonel struggled for his seat. He even addressed the Anti-Discrimination Council on the grounds that he was discriminated against on ethnic grounds, being of Armenian nationality. And he won the case.
After he was appointed head of police of the Ciocana sector, Saachian's office was not replaced, despite the fact that several of his subordinates were detained and convicted of passive corruption or drug trafficking. The colonel was not held accountable in the case of Andrei Braguta, the young man who died in suspicious conditions in August 2017 in a penitentiary after he was beaten in a police isolator. Braguta was first brought to the Ciocana Police Inspectorate, where his hands were tied up, he was put a gag in his mouth and his father was not allowed to give him medicine for the mentally ill suffering of the young man, detained for an alleged violation of road traffic regulations.
We could not identify what Dumitru Rusu is currently doing, he retired.
Igor Pîntea, promoted to the head of Penitentiary No.13
The most curious is the case of Igor Pîntea, accused in Mătăsaru file. The accuser’s statute did not stop Pintea from being promoted from captain to lieutenant colonel, and in October 2016 he was appointed Chief of Penitentiary No. 13 in Chisinau.
As head of Penitentiary No.13, Pîntea came to the attention of the press for imposing restrictions on lawyers who visit their clients in pre-trial detention. Defenders have had to resort to protest actions in a few cases where their clients have been maltreated in the penitentiary. But he did not even meet the demands of the People's Advocate, who asked to allow lawyers to visit their clients. As for the businessman Veaceslav Platon, lawyers could only meet with him a month after he had been beaten up in the cell. Over the last ten years, the press has written about several cases of ill-treatment in the penitentiary No. 13.
The second accused of torture in the Matasaru file, Octavian Sirbu, was also promoted. He is Head of Section within the National Investigation Inspectorate. Sirbu is known for having detained former friend of Constantin Ţuţu, Oleg Prutean, alias Borman, accused of drug trafficking in particularly large proportions. Prutean was shopping in a supermarket, when Sirbu approached him and punched him. This can be tracked in a video revealed by the police.
The only convict for abuse of power in the Matasaru file is Ghenadie Floreac, former head of the Balti branch of the National Investigation Inspectorate. Floreac retired shortly before the sentence was final.
Radu Starinschi, senior officer in the internal security of the National Anti-Corruption Center
After Radu Starinschi was acquitted, he returned to the Police, and from 2016 he works for the National Anticorruption Center. At the moment he serves as senior investigative officer in the Internal Security Section of the National Anti-Corruption Center (CAN).
Reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism were monitoring since 2009 the files of torturing policemen, including Ion Perju, the only convict in the Boboc file who was allowed to leave the country, and Iacob Gumeniţă was acquitted in a long trial. The latter is the only policeman who is unemployed after the trial. Among those who appeared in the criminal files were Colonel Grigore Cojocaru, the head of the detachment with special destination "Fulger", who intervened in the crowd several times, including at detaining of young protesters on April 7 to 8. The file showing his name was lost in the drawers of the prosecutors without having any finality. Former police officer currently manages a business.
Prosecutors who were not held accountable
If some police officers were to some extent involved in torture files in police commissariats, prosecutors, who ordered the arrest of young people and witnessed the trial of the youth beatings in the Commissariat without defending their rights, were not held accountable. Moreover, they were the ones who investigated the police files, by closing most of them or passing them on the dead line.
On April 8-12, 2009, prosecutors made 148 appeals to judges for the release of arrest warrants for young people detained by the police. Of these, 130 were examined by judges in police commissariats. Most of the requests were signed by prosecutors Igor Popa of the General Prosecutor's Office and Iurie Ghervas of the Buiucani Prosecutor's Office.
"In a speech, the head of state V.Voronin on April 15, 2009, called for the amnesty of all youth detained and arrested. Prosecutors did not understand the way and the lawfulness of applying the" amnesty ", this being a prerogative of Parliament and they decided to "suddenly change their minds" on the need to keep people under arrest on April 16 and 17, 2009, taking steps to the judges, requesting either the annulment of the preventive measure of the arrest or the replacement of custody with other non-custodial measures ", reads the report of the Inquiry Commission.
Prosecutor Igor Popa called judges to judge in commissariats and issue arrest warrants
Prosecutor Igor Popa handled the criminal case and managed the investigation following the April 7, 2009 events.
By an order signed by Vasile Pascari, a former deputy of the then general prosecutor, Valeriu Gurbulea, on April 8, 2009, a criminal prosecution group consisting of 72 prosecutors and 114 prosecution officers was formed. Chief of the group was named Igor Popa, the then prosecutor of the Department, in charge with exceptional criminal investigations.
During the work of this investigative group, several illegalities were committed, as mentioned in the commission’s reports that investigated the actions of the authorities in the April 7 events. Youth torture continued for a week after the protests. Some of the young people said they were being moved from one commissariat to another in order to let time pass and to hide traces of torture. Those detained were not allowed to call relatives or a lawyer. Prosecutors have started criminal files against the leaders of the parliamentary opposition, activists, all of them were closed, for lack of evidence. Communist government, with the help of Popa's group, set up terror in Chisinau. Students were taken out of lessons, hunted through dormitories, or accosted in the street.
The parliamentary commission of inquiry into the events of 7 April 2009 mentioned in its report that Igor Popa was the one who called on judges to judge in commissariats and to issue arrest warrants in 69 cases.
One of the most resounding files started under the monitoring of the prosecutor Igor Popa was the famous "file of scraps", against activist Anatol Mătăsaru. In July 2009, when the Appeals Court released Matasaru after almost three months of arrest, another file was started. Matasaru was detained in the office of Prosecutor Popa one hour after being released by the Court of Appeal. The activist was blamed for having stolen a jar of scraps and a watch Frank Muller from a young man. Subsequently, the activist was acquitted, for lack of evidence, and the state paid him compensation of 40 thousands lei.
Moreover, Igor Popa hid video evidence about the assassination of Valeriu Boboc during the protests in April. "If he had the video, it means he would hid it and delayed the investigation into the case. This is a violation of the law and I think he should be held accountable for this, " said the Liberal Mihai Ghimpu who in 2010 was acting president of the country.
Under public pressure, prosecutor Igor Popa admitted in 2010 that he was forced by the then government to take many controversial actions but did not consider himself guilty. "Why should I be held accountable? I was just a soldier! ", replied Popa when he was asked about April 7th.
Illegalities committed by Igor Popa and the lack of action of the leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office have led to a tough reaction from society. Under public pressure, in March 2010, Igor Popa renounces "for personal reasons" the post of chief of the prosecution service on exceptional cases, and becomes a public prosecutor. Two years later, Igor Popa is appointed head of the Riscani District Prosecutor's Office in Chisinau. He got ahead again. He triggers a real hunt of inconvenient activists for power and started criminal files for the hooliganism against several activists: Anatol Mătăsaru, for staging a protest in front of the General Prosecutor's Office in 2013, actor Sergiu Voloc, for punching a door at the Supreme Court of Justice, Vitalie Ţaulean, for asking in a tough voice explanations from a prosecutor, former communist deputy, Grigore Petrenco, for a protest staged in front of the General Prosecutor's Office and others.
In December 2015, after Ion Diacov retired, Igor Popa was appointed interim prosecutor of the Chisinau municipality. Diacov then declared that Popa would be appointed to that position, and the public contest would be a formal one. In March 2016, Igor Popa obtained the highest marks in the promotion contest for the prosecutor's office of Chisinau. A year later, Igor Popa is promoted to the post of Deputy Prosecutor General.
Eduard Harunjen and the April 7 files
Current Prosecutor General, Eduard Harunjen was targeted in the "April 7, 2009" files. He was accused of destroying the criminal case filed on the death of Ion Ţibuleac, one of the young people who died in mysterious conditions in the April 7, 2009 events. In 2010, Harunjen and two other prosecutors initiated disciplinary proceedings on this case, being found guilty of the Disciplinary College of "inadequate performance of duties at workplace". Harunjen challenged the adopted resolution, and the Superior Council of Prosecutors, then headed by Iurie Garaba, canceled the Disciplinary College's decision. When he became general prosecutor, Harunjen named Garaba Deputy Prosecutor General.
After the events of April 2009, Eduard Harunjen had a fulminating career. Between 2013 and 2015 he served as interim chief of the Prosecutor's Office, then he was promoted to the office of First Deputy Prosecutor General and since March 2016 he has been acting as prosecutor general. On December 8, 2016, based on the decree of the chief of state, he was appointed general prosecutor.
Some prosecutors, who got ahead in April 2009 event, were employed in the Prosecutor's Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cause (PCCOCS). One of these is Sergiu Rosu, who "investigated" the file of the scraps. Also, Rosu was the one who handled the criminal file against journalist Natalia Morari.
Late in 2012, Sergiu Roşu was target of a media scandal, he was seen together with prosecutor Lilian Cociu and two businessmen accompanied by prostitutes, including a minor. Everyone was in an apartment on Docuceaev str. in Chisinau, when at about 02.30, three people, including Davitean David Karlen, a citizen of Armenia and of Moldova, the former brother in law of killer Vitalie Proca, entered with a CZ pistol and seized their mobile phones.
Another prosecutor who handled files on behalf of protesters in April 2009 is Alexandru Caraman. Subsequently, he managed the case of Iacob Gumenita. Caraman worked at PCCOCS till March 2018 and then he was transferred to Chisinau Prosecutor's Office.
Former prosecutor of Chisinau municipality, Ion Diacov, claims that prosecutors who did not properly investigate the crimes from 7-12 April 2009 had to be held accountable: "The truth about the April 7 events has been largely covered up. Many cases have been made for the public, upon the spectator's request. They sued both the police and the protesters. It is not known yet who was the initiator, who set the fire on the building, who beat people. Why, are there thousands of photos and videos with excellent clarity, why are those responsible not being held accountable? We examined the April 7 file and found more violations. A criminal case against the prosecutors who worked with the April 7 file had to be started”, said the former prosecutor.
(In) Justice in the Commissariats: Only three magistrates removed from the system
After the events from the April 8 night in the Great National Assembly Square and the hunting of youth in Chisinau, six investigating judges followed the order of the prosecutor Igor Popa and went to judge the youth directly in the commissariats, ignoring the independence and deontology imposed by the mandate of magistrate. It was for the first time in the history of the Republic of Moldova when the lawsuits on the persons detained and suspected by the Police in committing contraventions and offenses were tried in police commissariats. The magistrates examined administrative contraventions and prosecutors' steps to apply the preventive measure of arrest for which people were brought to police commissariats on April 7-12, 2009.
Magistrates took the decisions in 3-5 minutes, without caring that the young men were bloody, full of bruises, and some almost could not stand. All magistrates subsequently declared to the Investigation Commission that the young people they judged did not show signs of violence.
The prosecutors' requests on arrest warrants were examined in the premises of the police commissariats by the judges: Ghenadie Morozan, Anatolie Galben from Rascani District Court, Mihai Drosu, Dorin Popovici and Mihai Diaconu, from the Buiucani District Court and Sergiu Crutco, from Centru district court.
Subsequently, being pressed civil society, three of them, called by the press "the judges from hell": Dorin Popovici, Mihai Drosu and Sergiu Crutco were removed from the system.
Magistrate Dorin Popovici: xeroxed decisions
The first to quit the office was judge Dorin Popovici, judge at the Buiucani District Court of Chisinau. He examined 42 files at the Police commissariat, of which 32 administrative files and 10 requests to implement repressive measures. The commission of inquiry established that Dorin Popovici xeroxed the text of a report of the hearing, with blank space for the name of the suspect, the defender and the prosecutor, after which he included only the names of the participants in the trial, without taking into account the real situation during the trial.
Popovici was unmasked by the Radu sisters, who told the press details about the trial in the commissariat. In October 2009, Oxana Radu, along with other people who suffered from the former judge's activity, sent a complaint to the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) in which she complained about the illegal actions of Dorin Popovici, the one who sent her in administrative custody, though she had a 10-year-old child at home.
Dorin Popovici told the Inquiry Commission that he had tried the young people in the police commissariats, with the consent of the SCM president, Ion Muruianu. The latter did not feature in the "April 7" file.
Shortly after he was dismissed, Dorin Popovici was employed at Victoriabank in the Crediting Department. He tried to be reinstated but he lost the trial, so Dorin Popovici withdrew from public life.
Magistrate Sergiu Crutco
Sergiu Crutco was an investigating judge in the Chisinau District Court until 2010, when the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) rejected his request to confirm his office until retirement age. SCM cited serious violation of the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code when he tried youth in the Centru Police Commissariat.
In December 2011, Crutco received a lawyer license that was suspended in July 2012. For three years, Crutco served different offices in the penitentiary system, and in April 4, 2016 he was appointed prosecutor in the Calarasi Prosecutor's Office.
In 2018, Crutco was dismissed from the prosecutor's office after a woman complained to the Democratic Party that he would have fabricated a criminal case on her name, by limiting her access to parents’ house.
"Because we do not find justice in the judiciary, we have addressed the Democratic Party. MP Alexandru Bannicov spoke to the General Prosecutor's Office and prosecutor Sergiu Crutco of Calarasi was dismissed", said Ecaterina Meleca.
Judge Mihail Drosu
Judge Mihai Drosu, who joined the Râşcani District Court in 2009, quitted the system and did not manage to practice law. By judgment dated 12 January 2010, the Superior Council of Magistracy refused to promote him until age limit, invoking several disciplinary misconduct, including the fact that he issued 15 arrest warrants in April 2009 at the headquarters of the General Police Commissariat. The next day, Mihai Drosu filed a resignation request and the interim president accepted it. Subsequently, on December 16, 2010, the Chisinau Court of Appeal invoked this decision of the SCM and favored the Bar of Lawyers, that refused to issue a license for him. The Court of Appeal stated that "admission to the profession of lawyer would seriously affect the public image of the entire bar of lawyers, which is not allowed by the deontological preamble of lawyers in the Republic of Moldova, as when he acted as a judge, he had committed many serious violations of rights and the fundamental freedoms of people ".
Unlike their colleagues, the other 3 judges who still worked in the system, had a successful career.
Magistrate Anatol Galben, promoted to the Superior Council of Magistracy
Anatol Galben, in 2009, a judge in the Râşcani district of Chisinau, judged young people in the police commissariats. Although he was issued disciplinary punishment, this did not prevent him from promotion.
Late in 2017, Anatolie Galben becomes a member of the SCM, being proposed and voted by his colleagues. In July 2018, Galben was appointed member of the Ethics Committee at the SCM, a commission issuing recommendations for judges with reference to the dilemmas or issues about the interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the Code of Ethics and Judicial Conduct. Late in July 2018, Anatolie Galben won the contest for the seat of judge at the Chisinau Court of Appeals, with the vote of his colleagues from SCM, and on September 19, 2018, Igor Dodon signed the decree on promoting Galben to the Chisinau Court of Appeal.
Several complaints against Anatol Galben were filed over the last ten years. For example, activist Anatol Mătăsaru complained to the SCM that he applied the arrest warrant right in the commissariat for 30 days without taking into account that he was bloody with bruises on his face and broken clothes. The SCM found the disciplinary misconduct committed by Galben, but he was not punished because of the limitation period. In 2013, Anatolie Galben was subjected to the disciplinary sanction in the form of a warning "for violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the ECHR and regulated by national legislation".
In 2014, Anatolie Galben faced the same sanction. The magistrate was warned after having issued a closure in a criminal case involving Anatolie Stipuleac, then represented by lawyer Ana Ursache. The defendant was removed from the hearing after the prosecutor objected that she had no mandate to represent her client.
In 2015, Anatolie Galben was the protagonist of an extensive investigation of the Center for Investigative Journalism about judges who were rejected for promotion by the head of state on grounds of integrity issues. In 2014, Nicolae Timofti, the former president of the Republic of Moldova, rejected Anatolie Galben's candidacy for reconfirmation as a judge of common law. "The data indicated in the SIS Verification Opinion refer to the judge's breach of the principle of impartiality in the examination of cases and raises reasonable suspicions of the judgments handed down by him (...). The SCM has missed out some of the circumstances that need to be taken into account and these corroborated with the status of the judge", reads the note sent to the Council. In June 2014, SCM members repeatedly proposed Galben's candidacy, and the head of state was forced to accept it, in accordance with the procedure.
Magistrate Ghenadie Morozan
Judging young people in the commissariats did not affect Ghenadie Morozan's career. In 2009 he worked for the Râşcani District Court. The magistrate has examined 18 requests to enforce arrest warrants for maltreated youth. The decision time is 6-9 minutes. The longest period for examining a case was 72 minutes, in the case of a Russian speaker, to whom an interpreter was needed.
In 2015, the magistrate was promoted and appointed judge at Chisinau Court of Appeal.
Before promotion, Morozan was also involved in some scandals. In October 2012, he signed a resolution canceling the order issued by Andrei Pântea, prime deputy of the Prosecutor General, in order to carry out additional investigations into the murder of Codrii Orhei, involving the ex-MP of PDM, Constantin Ţuţu. Pantea canceled the order of some prosecutors who decided not to charge Tutu for murder, but of hooliganism. But Morozan canceled his decision, so that the case came to trial without Tutu being tried for murder.
The press wrote that Ghenadie Morozan is Vladimir Plahotniuc’s brother in law. The brother of the magistrate, Eduard Morozan, is married to Vera Morozan (Plahotniuc), sister of the PDM leader.
Magistrate Mihail Diaconu
Mihail Diaconu was magistrate at the Buiucani Court in 2009, currently, he is a judge at the Chisinau Court of Appeals, with aspirations at the Supreme Court of Justice. He, like his colleagues, has judged youth beaten up in police commissariats. He met in the commissariats all 9 prosecutors' requests to apply the arrest of the young participants to the protest. The average decision time was 19 minutes. The shortest period for investigation was 0 minutes (1 case) and the longest - 30 minutes (1 case), the rest of them- 20 minutes.
In 2013, after taking his PhD paper in law, Diaconu began the fight for promotion. In February 2014, he was promoted to the Appeals Court, but the SCM's decision to promote Diaconu generated the protest of a victim of the April 2009 events, who demanded the President of the country not to appoint him. Shortly afterwards, Mihail Diaconu gave up promotion for a short period.
After April 7, 2009, Diaconu's name also featured in other scandals, such as the IT company, SRL Ritlabs, that exported products under own brand, because he abusively seized the company's accounts.
On July 15, 2015, two pensioners from Chisinau addressed a complaint to the National Anticorruption Center, in which they demanded the prosecution of judge Diaconu, for he would have left them without home and land. People filed complaints with the NAC, the Prosecutor's Office, the SIS and the SCM, but nobody investigated the alleged facts.
At the Chişinău Court of Appeal, Mihail Diaconu joined the contest for the office of judge of the Supreme Court of Justice.
You can read about the victims of 7 April 2009 events and about those who handled the protests in the material INDICTMENT: April 7, 2009. Ten years of injustice.
The investigation was carried out under the project "Mobilizing Civil Society to Support Judicial Integrity in the Republic of Moldova", conducted by the Center for Investigative Journalism and Freedom House, with the financial support of the US Department of State.
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Two private enterprises of over 100 that ensure security and detective services gained advantageous tenders for the security of state institutions for many years. One of the companies belongs to an off-shore company, affiliated to the leader of PDM, Vladimir Plahotniuc, and the other is of a former policeman, who would be connected to the criminal authority Vladimir Moscalciuc, alias Makena. Though, these companies are targeted in dubious schemes, torture cases, use of force, illegal interceptions and other serious actions, they are free to guard public institutions, including those in justice field, despite the prohibitions of the law. The
INDICTMENT: April 7, 2009. Ten years of injustice
Ten years after the violent actions of April 7, 2009, following a peaceful protest triggered by the authorities, where hundreds of young people have been maltreated and tried in the police commissariats, no prosecutor, judge or policeman has ever been punished for abuses committed. Prosecutors filed 71 criminal cases, but only some of those who participated in the devastation of Parliament and Presidency buildings were punished. Just one policeman, who fled the country and wanted by Interpol, was sentenced to jail. All officials who somehow managed the actions of the police forces or were indifferent during the events of
Greek magistrates did what justice in Moldova didn’t: former international expert sentenced to 2 years in prison for pedophilia
Eight years after the publication of an investigation of the Center of Investigative Journalism about a network of pedophiles in Moldova and Ukraine, Greek justice ruled: Nick Georgiadis, one of the pedophiles abusing minors, was convicted. Tuesday, February 26, in Greece, two years in prison. In the Republic of Moldova, Georgiadis was "escaped" from criminal punishment. "The court in Athens, Greece did not acknowledge any mitigating circumstances and sentenced Georgiadis, aged 55, to a 28-month prison sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros. At the time of committing the crimes, he was advisor to the Minister of Economy within the
Judges with apartments for free
During the last five years (2012-2017), more than MDL 127 million were allocated from the Chisinau municipality budget to provide with apartments some persons who sued the City Hall asking for housing or for concluding reconciliation transactions with it. Among the beneficiaries of such apartments, but also of funds, there are also magistrates. Some of them, although they received apartments free of charge from the housing stock of Chisinau municipality, have enriched themselves in the meantime with other dwellings: some of these being purchased at preferential prices, others - bought at market price. There are also judges who have
Women victims of domestic violence, facing alone the aggressors and the justice system
Victims of domestic violence, mostly women, often depend on a justice system that does not protect them and does not show leniency when out of despair they try to defend themselves or counter-attack, say lawyers and human rights activists. Angela Gojan. Photo: CIJM Angela Gojan was just over 20 years old when her marriage became a nightmare for her. Finally, 10 years later, she decided to break the vicious circle. The woman says that she was cruelly beaten for trifles: someone looked at her, or she did not take care of the child or did not exactly meet her husband's requirements.
„50 shadows“ of the billion dollar theft cases
Every time when prosecutors are asked about the investigation of the billion dollar theft they invoke three criminal cases, and namely, "Shor case", "Filat case" and "Platon case” that have had different "fates" since the start of the prosecution. Several violations of the proceedings, excesses on the side of prosecutors and judges, ill-treatment, and human rights violations in custody and detention were reported in two of these cases. Reference to Shor, the first person concerned in a criminal case on the theft from Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank, the case has "frozen" on the table of the
„Stemma” of justice (II)
They were colleagues at the Law faculty, and now they are acting as judges, being opponents from the post of judges, lawyers or prosecutors. Though they say that the relationships of colleagues from the period of study do not influence on their professional activity in any way, several concrete cases prove that some judges and prosecutors have been promoted just in the period when their faculty colleagues served important posts in the justice system. You can see below the university colleagues of the chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice Mihai Poalelungi, of the General Prosecutor Eduard Harunjen and of
„Stemma” of justice
They have been colleagues at the Faculty of Law and now they are acting as judges, lawyers or prosecutors. Some of these are god-parents, god-sons while others - spouses, sons, daughters, brothers or sisters. All of them claim that personal relationships do not prevent them from being objective, in a country where most citizens perceive justice as the most corrupt field. In 2013, Ziarul de Garda (Zdg) revealed how the lawyer Iurie Guriev, god father of judge Oxana Banari (Mironov) who was serving at that time at the Donduseni District Court, did not request the magistrate's appeal in a case
AUDIO, DOC // “Ghost” banker in Vlad Filat’s case
A well-known Russian banker was attracted unknowingly in the controversial case of former PM Vlad Filat. Former executive chairman of the Russian Petrocomerţ bank is accused of having met in February 2013, former general secretary of the Government Victor Bodiu and they planned to take over a part of bad assets from Banca de Economii (BEM). According to the report Kroll, taking bad loans worth about one billion lei by Roseau Alliance LLP was the first step in taking over the BEM scheme. Reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism found the banker but he does not know anything
Apartments at low price for magistrate Oleg Melniciuc’s mother and relatives in the residential block for judges
The head of the court Oleg Melniciuc, his mother and some of his relatives will get apartments and commercial property in the residential block on the street Hristo Botev 6 in Chisinau, which is currently being built for the magistrates of Rascani District Court in the capital and for their children. The magistrate himself who initially said that, though he owned some dwellings and he would like some flats for his children, he did not buy any flat in this block, but a commercial space. The president of the Superior Council of Magistracy Victor Micu received a flat in the
False witnesses in Vlad Filat’s case
Three women from the Russian Federation, who seem not to know about the situation in Moldova, appear as key-witnesses in the resounding corruption case involving Vlad Filat. According to statements made by Ilan Sor in court, they would have brokered alleged bribery worth 320 million lei to former Prime Minister. These statements were accepted by the court and included in the sentence without inviting the youths for evidence. Center for Investigative Journalism found the names of these girls and contacted two of them. The girls claim that they have never beento Moldova and do not know Ilan Sor and
18 bln USD laundered through the judiciary in Moldova since 2010 (II)
About 18 billion dollars, 17 judges, three "ghost" cases whose signatories are missing, a case destroyed and a judge unwillingly involved in the scheme of legalizing "black" money in the Russian Federation. Continuation from November 20 In the period 2010-2014, the Republic of Moldova has turned into a real "laundering" of large amounts of money from Russian Federation. The scheme included at least 17 Moldovan prosecutors who have legalized profits that would have been obtained illegally, wrote the Russian media. On the other hand, officials of the National Anti-Corruption Center say they cannot speak about “money laundering" in this case, because
18 bln USD laundered through the judiciary in Moldova since 2010 (I)
Since 2010, the Republic of Moldova became a real system of money laundering in the region through the courts. This "fame" went around the world and half of the 20 judges who dictated shameful verdicts continue to judge and "do justice" to this day. Many judges who have "legalized" black money from Russia were later on involved in scandals. However, the system does not want to "cleanse" itself and some of the judges who participated in money laundering scheme were even appointed court presidents. Copycat ordinances Schemes used by criminals for money laundering were always the same - some offshore companies in
The assets declared by judges: houses and cars at negligible costs
Most judges undervalue their movable and immovable property which they officially declare to own. The reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalismarrived to this conclusion after having examined more than 400 declarations of income and assets, submitted by magistrates for 2014. The legislation requires that in declaration of assets is indicated the cadastral estimate of the property, which in almost all cases is far below market value. For cars, the price is quoted from the contract of sale, which is also, in many cases, lower than the real one. Experts say it is a vicious practice and blame it on
The judges “with nine lives”
In the documents remitted to the SCM, Vladimir Voronin, Marian Lupu, Mihai Ghimpu and Nicolae Timofti have cautioned that those rejected do not have a place in the judiciary because they discredit Justice, are not objective, have unjustified wealth, have integrity issues, relations with businessmen conducting shady businesses. Most often, the findings were based on the reports from the Information and Security Service (ISS). Despite the arguments brought by the rulers of the country, SCM kept on position or even promoted around 55 judges. In the meantime, some of them left the system honorably taking their sins with them,
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