MP of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” Kiril Moțpan said that in the morning of September 6, 2018, when the seven Turkish teachers were taken from the street and were later transported to Turkey by a plane, the then director of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) Vasile Botnari, the then minister of the interior Alexandru Jizdan and the then prospector general Eduard Harunjen had a meeting. The actions that followed involved the police, IPN reports.
In the talk show “Natalia Morari’s Politics” on TV8 channel, the MP said Mister Botnari should not answer alone “for this big shame”. “I consider a crime was produced that day, but the then and the current authorities do not want to elucidate it. This case should be analyzed thoroughly so as to find out the circumstances of the drama of the seven citizens. We witness complete injustice,” stated Kiril Moțpan.
PAS MP Oazu Nantoi noted the Moldovans are misinformed and are told that Vasile Botnari is the only person who planned the extradition of the Turkish citizens. But they should not forget that it was the Democratic Party that promoted Vasile Botnari to different posts, including that of SIS chief. Moldova was then governed by a duo consisting of the Democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc and President Igor Dodon and these both are to blame for those events.
Jurist Teodor Cîrnaț said that if the Turkish teachers were to be extradited, Turkey should have furnished Moldova with information about the accusations made against them so that an extradition procedure could be launched. “Extradition is used when there is a criminal case. If those Turkish teachers had been investigated in Turkey for terrorist acts, the procedure should have been finished by a court decision stipulating that these should be extradited. The second procedure is the expulsion itself that can be applied to any foreigner who violated the regime of state, also based on a court decision,” he stated, noting that the incumbent prospector general wants to make a scapegoat of Vasile Botnari and that President Igor Dodon most probably knew about the steps that were to be taken by the law enforcement agencies.
The wife of one of the seven Turkish teachers Galina Tufekci, who is a Moldovan citizen, said she is sure that no one will be punished according to law under the current government. The former SIS director didn’t take the expulsion decision himself and he received relevant orders first. “The seven Turkish teachers who were convicted in Turkey got a total of 59.5 years, but none of them committed an office. In Moldova, the Prosecutor’s Office asks for only six years in jail for the person who is allegedly to blame,” she stated, noting the Government should have sought the release and return of the Turkish teachers.
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. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the criminal case started against the former SIS director 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.