Justice

INSPECTORS FROM THE ANTICORRUPTION PROSECUTION

Author: Julieta Savițchi
10/01/2020 18565

Most of the 21 state inspectors appointed by the general prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo to verify the activity of the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office for the past 4 years have integrity problems themselves. Some of the inspectors even have connections or interests with pending cases at the institution subjected to control.

How the control was arranged

Morari and Compan prosecutors, seen on the morning of December 9 at
entry into PG

The general prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo signed the order to carry out the controls at the Anti-corruption Prosecution and the Prosecutor's Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS) on Monday morning, December 9, 10 days after President Igor Dodon appointed him to the position and the third day after the deputy prosecutors were appointed. 

The same morning, Stoianoglo signed the order regarding the delegation of the head of the Anticorruption Prosecution Viorel Morari for the seat of prosecutor in the Unification of practice in the field of representing the accusation in the courts unit. By another order, Dorin Compan is suspended from the seat of interim head of PCCOCS.

The first hour of the day, Morari and Compan were invited to the General Prosecutor's Office to inform them about Stoianoglo's orders, and after that groups of inspectors formed overnight performed raids. 

Two control groups were set up to raid the Anti-Corruption Prosecution. 13 prosecutors were included in the first group in charge with criminal prosecution, led by Deputy General Prosecutor Ruslan Popov while 6 prosecutors were included on the judicial segment and was headed by Deputy General prosecutor Mircea Roșioru.

Chief of the inspectors, the prosecutor targeted in several criminal cases

Ruslan Popov appears in two criminal cases filed in recent years by the Anti-Corruption Prosecution, under an internal document signed by Viorel Morari.

Ruslan Popov. Photo: zdg.md

A case was started on October 8, 2019 for influence peddling, after a citizen filed a complaint with the Ministry of Interior's Internal Protection and Anti-Corruption Service (SPIA). He denounced that he gave ten thousand euros to an intermediary to give to prosecutor Ruslan Popov to "solve" a case. At the time of starting the control ordered by Stoianoglo, the case was under criminal prosecution.

Another criminal case, in which the anti-corruption prosecutors were investigating, was started in 2017, based on the complaint of 2 businessmen. They denounced 2 prosecutors from the Ciocana sector of Chisinau, Ruslan Clim and Eugen Tifoi. In that period, Ruslan Popov was chief prosecutor and he pointed that the policemen had extorted from him 200 thousand euros. The two prosecutors, in complicity with 3 heads of the National Investigation Inspectorate, would have claimed from the manager of a company different amounts of money, to release him from detention and to stop the criminal case in which the businessman, together with 2 other colleagues, were criminally investigated for tax evasion in large proportions. After having received part of the amount claimed, the prosecutors, in agreement with the police, would have arranged the release of the three businessmen from preventive arrest, reads the quoted document.

During the investigations, the anti-corruption prosecutors found that on that day, Sunday, Tifoi and Clim had several phone conversations with Ruslan Popov, and one of them even went to Milești Mici, where Popov lives.

Ruslan Popov has been the subject of several journalistic investigations. From 2010 to January 2013, he headed the Directorate for Criminal Prosecution Control and Methodical Assistance within the General Prosecutor's Office. Later, Popov was promoted, being appointed interim head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecution. He was suspended from that position for a short time, after a criminal case was started against him because he had not reported in the statement on property, the house in Mileştii Mici for nearly 7 years.

Popov managed to escape the sentence and, in October 2014, he was appointed deputy chief of the Ciocana Prosecutor's Office, and in 2016 - head of this institution. By December 19, 2017, he was a member of the Superior Council of Prosecutors for 4 years. In October 2017, he was appointed member of the Monitoring Group of the National Integrity Strategy for 2017-2020.

Ruslan Popov was seen among the prosecutors who on May 22, 2018, during the working hours, came home to the former general prosecutor Eduard Harunjen, to celebrate his birthday.

On December 9, when the control was initiated at the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, Ruslan Popov came to work before 07.00, his car was seen before the General Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutor Popov's car

Other inspectors targeted in criminal cases

Adrian Mircos, head of the Criminal Investigation and Forensics of the General Prosecutor's Office and Tatiana Gulea, head of the Criminal Investigation Practice Unification Division within the Criminal Investigation Division headed by Mircos are among the 21 inspectors appointed to the Anti-corruption Prosecution.

Adrian Mircos. Photo: magistrat.md

Adrian Mircos came to this position in July 2017, being the only candidate enrolled in the contest. He held the position of interim officer from August 2016, previously he was head of the Criminal Prosecution Control unit of the General Prosecutor's Office.

Adrian Mircos was a faculty colleague of former deputy general prosecutor Igor Popa, being promoted while his colleague was in office.

Mircos came into possession of a house in 2017, an apartment of over 92 square meters being donated, reads the statement on property and personal interests.

Tatiana Gulea owns two apartments, one of which is almost 60 sq.m and was purchased in 2017 against the sum of 30 thousand euros.

Early in 2019, Tatiana Gulea was targeted by the Prosecutor's Inspection, the case was later on closed.

Vladislav Caruceru has been working since August 1, 2018 in the Unification of Practice in Criminal Prosecution unit. Last fall, the anti-corruption prosecutors filed a criminal case against Căruceru, who is suspected to have warned the people involved in the money laundering schemes at the Metalferos company about the raids to be carried out the next day, according to sources from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office. The case contained photos and video recordings with Caruceru while he warned the future accused people in the case Metalferos.

The General Prosecutor's Office requested Căruceru file for checks, as it was withdrawn from the Anti-Corruption Prosecution after the control ordered by Stoianoglo started.

Prosecutor who considered the expulsion of Turkish teachers legal

Oleg Afanasii. Photo: captură CurajTV

Oleg Afanasii has been appointed chief prosecutor of the Special Investigation Activity and Securing the Secret Regime Control Unit. He has worked for the Prosecutor's Office of the Centru sector of Chisinau.

On September 6, 2018, the Amnesty International organization notified the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the relevant courts about the extradition of the seven Turkish teachers employed by the "Orizont" Lyceums. Amnesty officials said SIS employees committed several violations, by endangering the physical and mental integrity of expelled citizens, including minors.

The reply from the General Prosecutor's Office was signed by prosecutor Oleg Afanasii. The state inspector wrote for Amnesty International that he did not identify deviations in the actions of the employees of the Information and Security Service (SIS) on the day of deportation of the 7 Turkish teachers who were declared undesirable persons in the territory of the Republic of Moldova. "Due to the fact that the characteristic indications for deviations from the scope of the prosecutor's powers have not been established, grounds for intervention are missing. If you do not agree with the answer received, you have the right to challenge it at the hierarchically superior prosecutor and then go to court”, reads the reply signed by Afanasii.

Prosecutor Afanasii was seen while asking a solitary peaceful protestor in front of the General Prosecutor's Office protest permit from the City Hall, though this is not stipulated by the legislation.

Prosecutor Afanasii was targeted in some journalistic investigations. ZDG wrote that he is deputy chief of the Prosecutor's Office of the Centru sector in Chisinau and owns a company specialized trading food products, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages - Prorialia SRL It has its legal address in the house of his father-in-law in Ialoveni, but it activates on Mircea cel Bătrân, 2/2, from Chisinau.

There is a bus stop for public transport on this address, where a firm of the prosecutor's brother, Ion Afanasii, is active, who initially managed to lease the land from the City Hall, and later to privatize it.

Currently a non-stop shop is registered at that address and another room is rented by Moldcell company. The prosecutor's family was initially obliged, following a contract concluded with the municipality, to pay annually for that facility only 1,085 lei lease. Afanasii prosecutor's family won a trial to this effect with the Chisinau City Hall, on the grounds that the mayor's lawyer simply did not appear at the court hearing.

Prosecutor Toma, targeted during the communist government

Ruslan Toma. Photo: magistrat.md

Ruslan Toma is a Special Missions Prosecutor within the General Prosecutor's Office and the god son of the former deputy prosecutor general, Igor Popa. Moreover, Popa is the godson of former PCCOCS chief Nicolae Chitoroagă. The latter is accused by the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office of illicit enrichment.

Ruslan Toma was targeted in the media during the communist government, after he got the conviction of the former Defense Minister, Valeriu Pasat, who was later acquitted.

Ruslan Popa is also the one who in 2009 requested the interception of telephone calls for several opposition leaders of that time.

Although he receives an annual salary of 342.8 thousand lei, prosecutor Toma seems not to be doing very well without the help of his parents. In recent years, he received generous donations from his mother. In 2018, Eugenia Toma gave 4,200 euros to her son.

The inspector who declared his goods at ridiculous price

Alexandru Lozan. Photo: magistrat.md

Alexandru Lozan is the subordinate of Oleg Afanasii. He is in the list of 21 prosecutors, on which the PAS MPs Radu Marian and Dan Perciun requested to be investigated by the Service for the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering on the grounds that they declared their goods at ridiculous prices.

The two MPs said that the prosecutor Lozan declared a Hyundai car (2013), bought in 2019, worth 100,000 lei. The real price is over 9,000 euros.

Colleagues of prosecutor Căruceru, helped by their parents

Adrian Rusu and Oleg Gârbu are Tatiana Gulea's subordinates and Vlad Căruceru's colleagues. Prosecutor Rusu has declared donations from his mother, Viorelia, 3,000 euros in 2017 and 2,000 euros in 2018.

Oleg Gîrbu declared in 2017 two apartments, valued at 400 thousand lei and 350 thousand lei respectively and a Honda car of 200 thousand lei. In 2018, the state inspector declared that he had sold a building against the sum of a half a million lei, he does not own a house or a car, he took out a bank loan of 88 thousand lei and that he was helped by his father with 2,000 euros.

Prosecutors from the fight against torture

Eugeniu Gore and Eugeniu Manolachi are prosecutors in the Department for Combating Torture. By 2010, Gore had worked in the Criuleni Prosecutor's Office, being transferred to the Prosecutor's Office of the Chisinau Centru sector and then to the General Prosecutor's Office in June 2018. Prosecutor Gore declares a seven-acre plot in Codru, a suburb of Chisinau, and a Honda car produced 19 years ago. Otherwise, Eugeniu Gore would have no house left.

In the period 2006 to 2016, Eugeniu Manolachi was deputy-head Military Prosecutor of Chisinau municipality, and after the institution was liquidated, he was transferred to the Chisinau Prosecutor's Office. Thus, except salary, Manolachi also receives a military pension of 55 thousand lei per year.

Prosecutor Manolachi owns an apartment of 67.9 sq.m, purchased in 2007, one year after he was appointed deputy head Military Prosecutor and a Honda car, 2008, that was donated to him in 2009.

Prosecutor from cyber crimes

Corneliu Lavciuc was appointed prosecutor in the IT and Cyber-crime Department in 2016. Since then, the prosecutor has been renting an apartment with an area of 71.9 sq.m, based on a “translational possession and use" agreement. Under the same contract, the prosecutor is also using a garage of almost 40 sq.m. In 2019, Lavciuc purchased a Skoda Octavia car, 2007 against the sum of 68 thousand lei.

Ruslan Popov’s former colleague

In 2012, Iurie Lealin graduated from the National Institute of Justice and is assigned to the prosecutor in the Ciocana sector of Chisinau. He was colleague and subordinate of prosecutor Ruslan Popov.

Iurie Lealin. Photo: magistrat.md

Just 4 years after he started his career, in August 2016, Iurie Lealin is appointed prosecutor of the Representation in non-criminal proceedings and ECHR implementation Unit within the General Prosecutor's Office.

He owns an apartment that was inherited in 2002. In 2017, Lealin buys a house, with an area of ​​219 sq.m, for which he paid 765.5 thousand lei.

In 2018, Iurie Lealin sells a Nissan car against the sum of 40 thousand lei and buys a Lexus RX 400H, 2010, for which he would have paid 50 thousand lei.

Prosecutor Iurie Lealin investigated in 2015 the criminal case against the mayor of Colonița, Angela Zaporojan, while she was still a member of the PLDM. Lealin demanded the suspension of the mayor of Colonița but the request was rejected by the court. Subsequently, Angela Zaporajan was acquitted by the Supreme Court of Justice.

The prosecutor "with relations" at the brick factory in Chirca, Anenii Noi

Mihai Uglea has been working for the General Prosecutor's Office since December 2008, and on August 1, 2016 he is appointed prosecutor in the Environmental fraud and public interest crimes investigation unit within the General Prosecutor's Office.

The only property declared by prosecutor Uglea in 2018 is an apartment of 92.9 sq.m purchased in 2016 against the sum of 694.9 thousand lei.

According to sources, Mihai Uglea would have been seen at the Anchir Brick Factory, in the village of Chirca, Anenii Noi district, which would have been illegally taken over and bankrupted, at the command of the competitors, with the help of prosecutors and judges.

Mircea Roșioru's team

Mircea Roșioru. Photo: procuratura.md

Mircea Roșioru was appointed on March 9, 2017 deputy prosecutor general. He served as chief of the Judicial Department of the General Prosecutor's Office and was elected president of the Superior Council of Prosecutors. Roșioru is the only prosecutor who managed to keep his position after Harunjen's dismissal, in the period when Dumitru Robu was acting prosecutor and after the appointment of Stoianoglo.

Igor Serbinov. Photo: zdg.md

Igor Serbinov is the head of the Judicial Department of the General Prosecutor's Office. In 2007-2016, he held the position of Deputy General prosecutor. In November 2016, along with Eduard Harunjen and Viorel Morari, he applied for the position of General Prosecutor.

Starting ith December 2000, Igor Serbinov has owned a house with an area of ​​175.4 sq.m, which would have cost 355.3 thousand lei. In 2017, Serbinov bought a 119.6 sq.m apartment against the sum of 723.2 thousand lei and a parking place, valued at 5,500 euros.

The prosecutor drives a 2007 BMW 730D car, purchased in 2014 against 180 thousand lei.

Dumitru Graur has been since 2010 head of the unit of representing the accused in the Supreme Court of Justice. In 2018, he received a pension of over 505 thousand lei, with over 135 thousand lei higher than the salary of that period.

In 2015, Dumitru Graur was seen at a gym during working hours.

 

Nicolae Zanevici recently returned to the General Prosecutor's Office, after he had worked for the Chisinau Prosecutor’s Office for 3.5 years.

Nicolae Zanevici. Photo: magistrat.md

While managing a case on child trafficking, he allowed a notary to access a case of an accused, who was in preventive detention in the Prison no. 13, say sources from the Anti-corruption Prosecution.

The accused sold a 3-room apartment in Chisinau against the sum 25 thousand euros, money he would have given to the lawyer to escape the punishment. A criminal case was initiated against the defender.

According to the defendant, Zanevici initially denied the notary's access to the penitentiary, but he signed the permit after being called by a lawyer.

On the night of December 31, 2017, prosecutor Nicolae Zanevici’s car was seen while speeding on the wrong way on Calea Iesilor in Chisinau and caused accident situations. The irregular movement of the Toyota Avensis, ST AN 001, was filmed with a dashboard. The respective car was seen parked at the entrance of the Chisinau Municipal Prosecutor's Office on January 3, 2018.

After the information was published in the media, Zanevici said he was not at the wheel.

Pavel Guțan is Dumitru Graur's subordinate starting with August 1, 2016. Last year he declared a monthly salary of 29.4 thousand lei. Prosecutor Guțan also benefited from a donation of $ 3,650.

Nina Crăciun was elected prosecutor in the Unification of practice in the field of representing the accusation in the courts unit within the Judicial Directorate of the General Prosecutor's Office in April 2019. By then, she worked for the Chisinau Municipal Prosecutor's Office. Craciun owns two 30-acre lands in Chisinau, 2 plots at the outskirts of Chisinau, 2 apartments and a villa.

One of the apartments was purchased in 2017, at a discounted price, after she was included in the list of prosecutors who needed to improve living conditions.

Silvia Balcan in 2016, together with her husband, a policeman in Straseni, purchased a villa with an area of ​​236 sq.m, for which they declared that they paid 280 thousand lei. The income statement reveals a Nissan car, worth $ 7,000. In 2017, Balcan family purchased a Toyota Rav 4, 1995, for which she would have paid 15 thousand lei.

Criminal cases raised from the Anti-corruption Prosecution

After the control was started, the General Prosecutor's Office requested from the anti-corruption prosecutors several cases under criminal prosecution. Thus, part of the cases filed against judges was requested. There were also cases filed against several prosecutors, including Vladislav Căruceru from the General Prosecutor's Office and the interim head of the Cahul Prosecutor's Office, Lilian Lungu. The latter was detained in November 2019 and is suspected of interference in the execution of justice and criminal prosecution of an innocent person.

The media wrote that Lungu is related to the former General Prosecutor Eduard Harunjen.

The case of the 200-thousand-euro bribe targeting Ruslan Popov, Ruslan Clim and Eugen Tifoi was also investigated.

Also, the case of the businessman Alexei Damaschin, who denounced the former politician Iurie Roșca, that he had asked for a million-euro bribe from him was also examined.

Anti-corruption prosecutors missed the case filed in October 2019 against the officers of the National Inspectorate of Investigations, Vitalie Procopii and Vlad Coropceanu, the latter is son of general. The two are accused of allegedly having claimed and received in October-November 2018, 40,000 euros from several economic units, to influence certain persons in public institutions, so as not to perform fiscal controls to the above-mentioned economic units, but also to help them avoid possible criminal liability.

The case was also filed against a businessman from Balti, Anatolie Tripăduș, featuring several injured parties.

The General Prosecutor's Office also got involved in a case of a 60-thousand-euro bribe filed against the former policeman Vladislav Corcodel. Corcodel was detained in December 2019, 3 years after he was under general prosecution. He was questioned by Ruslan Popov himself, and the prosecutor in charge with the case, Victoria Furtuna, was asked for explanations.

Just a few minutes before being requested by the General Prosecutor's Office, the anti-corruption prosecutors managed to bring to court the case against the chief of the Legal Department of the Presidential Administration Alexandru Ohotnicov, member of the Commission on citizenship under the President of the Republic of Moldova. However, the case did not reach the court. The General Prosecutor's Office withdrew Ohotnicov's indictment.

We remind that Alexandru Ohotnicov was detained along with his supposed accomplice in early July, being suspected of having helped a foreign citizen to obtain Moldovan citizenship against a fee of 2500 euros.

Minibus with cases and the stance of the General Prosecutor's Office

Ruslan Popov told us that a minibus loaded with cases came from the Anticorruption Prosecution, but these are not under management. "Keep quiet. These are closed cases or suspended for certain reasons, or cases that ended with acquittal in courts. If there were people arrested in these files, we need to see how fair the arrest was applied. We verify everything in terms of respect of human rights and the fair use of legal norms”, said the head of the General Prosecutor's Office.

However, prosecutor Popov acknowledged that cases under criminal prosecution were also raised. These are cases when the defendants filed complaints.

Regarding the fact that he would have targeted in 2 criminal files, Popov said that these are Viorel Morari’s allegations and that he would avenge some past misunderstandings from 2013, when Morari was delegated to the Bender Prosecutor's Office. "He checked the General prosecutor, Mr. Stoianoglo, and it did not come true. Be patient and you will see soon the true face of Viorel Morari”, said Popov.

Alexandr Stoianoglo briefly replied, through the press service: "The prosecutors who perform the control do not intervene in the cases, they only check the legality."

Viorel Morari, suspended head of the Anticorruption Prosecution: "It is an interference in justice"

On the other hand, Viorel Morari argues that he is not against the control, but disagrees with the fact that the cases under management are checked. "There are 21 prosecutors, there might be information leakage. There is the secret of the investigation and a lot of work has been done. Once some have had access to cases, you can no longer be sure of their confidentiality. It is an interference with justice”, said Morari. 

What the experts say

Vitalie Zamă, a lawyer representing the Human Rights Lawyers Association argues that prosecutors who have as little connection with a case, were forced to refrain from carrying out the control. "It is inadmissible for someone targeted in a case to have access to it", said the defender.

Lilia Carasciuc, president of Transparency International Moldova, says that if there are suspicions of conflict of interest or integrity issues regarding a prosecutor, he must be removed from performing the control. "These prosecutors must have an immaculate reputation. But unfortunately, there are not such prosecutors in our country. In this case, it appears that the cat was put among the pigeons, but at least fair prosecutors had to be chosen to carry out the control ”, Carasciuc said.

Victor Munteanu, department director within the Soros Moldova Foundation, believes that this is not a reform of the prosecutor's office, but a reshaping of the politically controlled institution. "The fact that several prosecutors have access to cases under criminal prosecution is an illegality, lack of morality. I see in this scandal Stoianoglo's attempt of concentration of power of the institution in his hands. I suppose this has political support. An argument would be that the control at the Anticorruption Prosecution started after Morari announced about the resumption of the criminal prosecution regarding the financing of the Socialist Party outside the country. I might be wrong about the interference of politics in the scandal at the Prosecutor's Office. If I am right or not, we will see the reaction of the Prosecutor's Office to the recent investigation carried out by the newspaper Ziarul de Garda about the people close to president Dodon”, concluded Munteanu.

The investigation was carried out within 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 State Department.

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