General Prosecutor’s Office issues formal charges against Constantin Tanase
Journalist Constantin Tanase was summoned today to the General Prosecutor’s Office where he was formally charged with “instigation to national, racial and religious hatred or dismemberment” under Article 346 of the Criminal Code. Tanase told Info-Prim Neo that he appeared before the General Prosecutor’s Office together with his lawyer, Alexandru Tanase. He said he didn’t sign any accusatory document because he knew the charges are trumped up. According to prosecutors, on February 3, 2008, during a protest meeting organised by the Union of Journalists of Moldova in the square of the National Opera House in Chisinau, Constantin Tanase and others “incited to national separation and hatred and to limiting the rights of the Russians living in Moldova”. Constantin Tanase, a reputable journalist and the director of the “Timpul de Dimineata” daily, considers that the criminal proceedings against him are a first step towards carrying out President Vladimir Voronin’s instructions to deal with political and media financing from abroad given to the Security and Information Service. According to him, the authorities aim to discredit one of the most important Romanian publications in Moldova and in such a way all the independent press and the community of independent journalists of Moldova. A number of media organisations and politicians made statements in support of Constantin Tanase, condemning the Prosecutor’s Office for its actions.