The criminal case started against the former director of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) Vasile Botnari over abuse of power in the expulsion of Turkish teachers was sent to court. The charges against two former vice directors of the SIS and the head of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum were dropped, Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo informed in a news conference on February 5, IPN reports.
“The whole operation was ordered, coordinated and conducted directly by the accused, who at that moment held the post of director of the Security and Intelligence Service. Even if it was determined that the actions taken by former deputies of the SIS director formally contain elements of the offense of which they were accused, it was established that these fulfilled the orders of their superior, not knowing then that they were illegal,” stated the prosecutor general.
As a result, on January 20, 2020, it was ordered to drop the charges against the two deputies and the head of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum. Alexandr Stoianoglo said the former SIS director could have assumed overall responsibility, but this is only a suspicion. When asked by journalists, he stated the investigation revealed no ties between the expulsion of Turkish teachers and President Igor Dodon or other politicians.
He also said that at the next stage the accused cooperated with the investigation bodies and is now investigated outside remand. He faces up to six years behind bars and ban on holding particular posts or performing particular activities for five to ten years.
The seven foreigners, who worked as teachers and managers of the network of “Orizont” Lyceums in Moldova, were declared undesirable and expelled on September 6, 2018. The Security and Intelligence Service said then the seven were suspected of having links with an Islamic group that allegedly performs illegal activities in a number of states. The families of the teachers and colleagues of theirs mounted multiple protests, demanding that these should be returned. The seven expelled citizens were convicted in Turkey.
On June 11 last year, the ECHR decided that Moldova violated the rights of the seven Turkish teachers when deporting them to Turkey and obliged the state to pay by €25,000 damages to five of them, which is a total of €125,000.
The criminal case over abuse of power and misuse of authority against employees of the Interior Ministry’s Bureau of Migration and Asylum and the SIS was started at the beginning of last August.