Reporter of the Center for Investigative Journalism, questioned in the case of flyers with denigrating messages about Maia Sandu
Foto: CIJM

Reporter of the  Center for Investigative Journalism, who revealed the connection between the flyers with denigrating and manipulating messages about the candidate of the Party Action and Solidarity Maia Sandu and her opponent, Socialist Igor Dodon, was questioned  as  witness  in the contravention  act started to this effect. In the questioning,  the police tried to find out how the author of the investigation  revealed that the flyers are shared with the help of the Union of Officers and other details about the reporter's visit to the  office of the public association.

Contravention act was started on October 28, 2016, after the General Police Inspectorate (IGP) was informed by representatives of PAS that requested the initiation of an investigation. However, the  police failed to  find the perpetrators within more than ten days. Instead, reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism showed that the flyers are distributed a few steps from the office of the Union of Officers in the Republic of Moldova, an organization which PSRM leader has had close ties for several years. 

We went to the Union of Officers to ask for some flyers under the guise of distributing them to students. The man in the office helped us without hesitation. "Take as many as you need. There appeared an outstanding personality in our country:  she does not work and now she wants to become president. Take both, it is a set", he said making allusion to Maia Sandu. 

After the investigation was published, the author of the investigation was invited for questioning at the Police Inspectorate Centru. During questioning, Vitalie Railean, Deputy Head of the Department of Public Security of Police Inspectorate Centru took from the reporter the flyers which she got from the office of the Union of Officers during journalistic documentation.

Contravention act was started on the production and dissemination of election advertising that does not contain the name of the contender, printing date, number of copies and name of printing house. Under the law, this violation is fined with 1,000 to 1,500 lei for individuals, between 1,500 and 2,500 lei for persons with leading positions and from 5,000 to 10,000 lei - for legal entities.

Shortly, after the investigation was published, PAS representatives have submitted a complaint to the Central Election Commission. In response, the CEC forwarded the complaint to the General Police Inspectorate and ordered law enforcement officers to investigate the case and to prevent such cases in the future.