The judges who sentenced the ex-PM Vlad Filat may not participate in the judicial review of his case, the Constitutional Court (CC) has ruled.
Citing ECHR’s and its on case-law, the Court held that “the law establishes a higher level of protection (during review processes), barring judges who pronounced even once on the merits of a case from participating in the future in the admission of a request for review.”
This year, on March 1 and then on June 12, Filat’s defense submitted two applications for the sentence to be reviewed on the grounds that there were at least two irreversible judgments incompatible with each another. In both cases, the defense asked the panels to be replaced, arguing that it would be against the rules for the judges who had pronounced on the case’s merits to now decide on the admission, but were denied and referred to the CC for clarifications.
Lawyers for Filat said in a press release that the recent CC ruling would allow the former prime minister to seek a rehearing of the decision to reject his appeal for review, which made its way up to the Supreme Court.
Vlad Filat was sentenced in June 2016 to nine years in prison on bribe-taking and influence peddling charges. He is now the subject of another criminal case accusing him of large-scale money laundering. Filat has denied all charges, claiming that both cases are politically motivated.