Activist Gheorge Petic awarded over 2 million lei in frame-up case

The Chisinau Court today ordered the government to pay Gheorghe Petic, a former border police officer and political activist, over 2 million lei after he spent 273 days in illegal detention on trumped-up rape charges, Radio Europa Liberă reports.

After hearing the case for about two years, the court eventually found that Petic's right to freedom, prohibition of torture and respect for private life was violated.

Petic told Europa Liberă that he has not yet decided whether or not to appeal. But if the Ministry of Justice does it, he thinks the appeal will drag on for ages because more than half of the appellate court’s judges have resigned.


He also said that this decision is important for judges and prosecutors to understand that it is not possible to “character-assassinate political opponents with fabricated charges”.

The former officer believes that he was persecuted in retaliation for his whistleblowing of cigarette smuggling schemes that allegedly involved the Border Police leadership, and also for urging people to protest against the Plahotiniuc regime in 2016-2018.

Petic was arrested on rape charges in the fall of 2018. In the spring of 2019, he was sentenced to 3½ years in prison by a district court. In June 2019, the Chisinau Court of Appeal ordered a retrial, releasing Petic directly from the courtroom. In 2021, the case took an unexpected turn. Prosecutors announced that the charges had been fabricated by former and current police officers and started an investigation. Video footage was released showing officers instructing a woman on how to frame Petic. Shortly after, Petic was acquitted.


Several suspects are accused of conspiring to incriminate Petic, including the former interior minister Alexandru Jizdan, and Gheorghe Cavcaliuc, deputy head of the Moldovan Police at the time.

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