Igor Boțan: We are waiting for an echo from European institutions to do something

The politicians in Moldova often base their actions on documents issued by European institutions. It is also the case of the prosecutor general who, when speaking about allegedly political cases, made reference to the report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Such an approach is correct from strategic and tactical viewpoints as the state signed an Association Agreement with the EU. Moreover, it is something typical of Moldovan society to make the dissatisfaction heard in the European institutions and to then use the echo coming from there, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate entitled “Political” criminal cases: protagonists, methods, goals, consequences” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

Igor Boțan, who is the standing expert of IPN’s project, said the European Union played a very important role in helping the Republic of Moldova get rid of the regime of Vlad Plahotniuc. “The whole European Union, through its institutions, kept the situation in the Republic of Moldova in the focus and this thing should be noted,” he stated.  He reminded that the MPs who assumed governance on June 8, 2019 acted based on documents issued by the Council of Europe, including the statement of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, who, in August 2015, spoke about the Republic of Moldova as about a captured state. “Also, those MPs made reference to the two European Parliament resolutions concerning selective justice and not only. As a result, 61 MPs adopted that statement on state capture.”

The expert noted that in a news conference in February 2020, the prosecutor general, who informed about the 38 allegedly political cases, made reference to the PACE report on democratic institutions in Moldova, which indicates directly what we call today political cases.

According to him, the generic term “political cases” has the right to existence as everyone knows that since 2009, very able businessmen had gradually politicized all the law enforcement and regulatory institutions. “They subordinated them and the criminal cases with purely political undertone can be thus classed as political because the people who came from business realized that politics is the best business in the Republic of Moldova,” said Igor Boțan.

“We express our dissatisfaction here so that we produce an echo in the international, European institutions. Later, those echoes come back and we use them as an argument when the law enforcement agencies, as in the case of the 38 cases, are trying to clarify them, to do justice to the people. There is such a phenomenon and it characterizes us as society. We are not firm in our actions. We do something and wait for the echo of the deeds to come from the European institutions.”

The expert considers it is clear why the authorities act like this. “Witnessing this difficult situation, we have to somehow stick to the constitutional and legal framework. Even if others came to power, we cannot go beyond this framework. Or big problems can appear,” he said, noting some of the political cases started to be solved, but a lot of work is yet to be done.

The debate “Political” criminal cases: protagonists, methods, goals, consequences” was the 140th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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