Lawyer Petru Balan said the problem of arrest in the Republic of Moldova, even if they speak less about it in society at the moment, remained as serious. Both the prosecutors who ask for arrests in an exaggerated way and the judges who accept such requests do not bear any responsibility for the committed abuses. An example is the case of ex-political prisoner Valentin Eșanu, who won the case at the European Court of Human Rights.
In a news conference hosted by IPN, Petru Balan said that no one conducted an analysis to see how many persons are arrested and how many of these are ultimately given jail terms. “If such an analysis is carried out, it will become evident that the arrest in the Republic of Moldova is applied exaggeratedly. This happens because the prosecutors who ask for pretrial detention and the judges who apply pretrial detention do not normally bear any responsibility. As long as these persons are not held accountable for illegal and excessive use of arrest, these serious things will continue,” stated the lawyer.
The ECHR held that Valentin Eșanu’s rights not to be subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, to be set free during the procedure and to challenge the remand detention were violated. What is more serious, according to the lawyers, is the fact that the prosecutors intentionally divided the criminal cases into different procedures so as to avoid the constitutional provisions that prohibit holding the person under arrest for more than 12 months.
“I will speak about a case of the multiple witnessed cases, which proves the seriousness of the situation that existed then and politicians’ involvement in the detention and prosecution of Mister Eșanu. He had been held for over six month. A new request to apply arrest was made and the prosecutor needed the prosecutor general’s consent to make such an approach for the arrest of a person who had been held for over six months. In the appeals court, we established that such a consent, approval on the part of the prosecutor general or his depute didn’t exist. In such a case, the court shouldn’t have even examined the possibility of remand detention and the request should have been rejected as illegal. But all the judges closed their eyes to the given violation and rejected our request, Mister Eșanu being held further,” said lawyer Sorin Tighineanu.
According to him, such irregularities were committed at almost each extension of the arrest, but these were ignored by judges. One cannot change things if the persons who committed serious illegalities remain in the system.
Valentin Eșanu called on the senior administration of Moldova to review the bill that stipulates the punishment for those who are to blame for Moldova’s conviction by the ECHR. According to him, those to blame should pay the damages awarded by the Court to victims of the wrongdoings, not the citizens, by their contributions to the state budget. He said the money he is to be paid by the state under the ECHR judgment will be given to a law firm for bringing to justice those who are to blame in his case.
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