Case of Basarabeasca mayor not yet decided after over five years

The case involving the mayor of Basarabeasca town Valentin Cimpoieș has been pending in the ordinary court for five years and eight months. The lawyers, who plead for the acquittal of the mayor, said that this period is too long. Moreover, the case of Cimpoieș is one of the 39 criminal cases that were declared political by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, while the prosecutor dropped a part of the charges in this case.

In a news conference hosted by IPN, lawyer Anatolie Istrate said that Valentin Cimpoieș ran independently and was elected mayor in 2015. He served for about a year and a half. In 2017, the political class started a harsh fight against the mayors who didn’t form part of the then ruling Democratic Party. As he refused to join the PDM, he was threatened he will experience problems and it happened so indeed. In February 2017, a group of special forces officers and prosecutors came to the mayor’s office and arrested the mayor before the eyes of citizens and inferiors and took him to Chisinau. He was remanded in custody for 30 days.

“The prosecutors charged him with misconduct in office for not intervening as a public figure to deal with an alleged case of sexual abuse and exploitation against a minor girl by her father and another person in 2012-2016. But Valentin Cimpoieș was elected mayor in 2015. The case was started by the Center for Combating Trafficking in Persons. But the offense of misconducts in office is within the remit of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, not of this Center or of the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Special Cases. To hide the interest of public servants and prosecutors, the remit was changed by an order of the prosecutor general and PCCOCS was entrusted with the task of conducting the investigation in this case,” related the lawyer.

Anatolie Istrate said PCCOCS during 30 days completed the investigation, interrogation 17 persons in this case. According to him, the state prosecutor didn’t inform the defense and the accused, who was in remand detention, about the completion of the investigation. Moreover, the prosecutors decided to replace the lawyers hired by contract with a public defender who was allegedly familiarized with the indictment. Valentin Cimpoieș speaks Russian, but the prosecutor didn’t make effort to translate the indictment or to provide an interpreter.

The case was remitted to the Basarabească Court. The ordinary court extended the warrant for Cimpoieș’ arrest, while the Appeals Court set him free. In a week, the Penal Board of the Supreme Corium of Justice transferred the case from the Basarabeasca Court to the Hâncești Court where it is now.

Lawyer Iulian Pascari said the case has been pending at the Hâncești Court since the spring of 2017. The materials of the case had been translated during over half a year and were then handed over to Cimpoieș. Six prosecutors were replaced in this case since 2017.

On November 15, the Hâncești Court is to pronounce judgment in the case of the mayor of Basarabeasca Valentin Cimpoieș.

The conference forms part of the series of conferences held as part of IPN News Agency’s project “Support for the Justice Reform through multimedia coverage of cases of alleged injustice”. The Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences. IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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