Maia Sandu: Accusations concerning political interface in justice are false

The justice sector reform is key to accelerating the European course of the Republic of Moldova and it will continue no matter how much resistance the system puts up, President Maia Sandu said, referring to the interruption of the General Assembly of Judges until April 28. The official noted that judges’ accusations concerning political interference in justice are false as the government’s only request to judges is for these to obey the law, IPN reports.

Maia Sandu said that despite the resistance put up by the system, the extraordinary assessment of judges will continue. The process is supported by the citizens who mandated the government to reform the justice sector and by the development partners.

“The justice sector reform is the most important of the nine recommendations put forward by the EU. We are facing the greatest resistance here as many of the judges are concerned with what will happen to them if this reform continues. But the reform will continue. Our chance to build a strong state depends on this reform. We cannot advance on the path of European integration if we don’t do this reform. My call to the honest people from the system is to step forward and support the reform. Parliament announced that it will name the first members of the new SCM (from among non-judges) this week and this new SCM will become functional and will take important decisions to break the deadlock,” Maia Sandu stated in the program “Reflection Points” on Vocea Basarabiei channel.

The official denied
judges’ accusations concerning the violation of the principle of separation of powers and noted that the government never allowed interference in justice.

“The European Union fully supports this reform. The assessment of the members of the SCJ is then next stage. The other levels will be covered afterward. The judges need to decide whether they want to endlessly delay this General Assembly and not to be represented on the SCM or they will yet elect their representatives from among those who passed the integrity test and we will have a representative SCM. I never became involved to instruct what decisions to take in one case or another, but I expressed my dissatisfaction with the delay in the examination of cases as this is irresponsibility. That’s why all the accusations regarding political interference are false. Neither I nor someone from the government requested the judges to take a particular decision. The only thing we ask is for them to work and to obey the law,” noted President Sandu.

The official also said that following the large number of resignations in the recent past, the vacancies in the judicial system will be filled with young professionals who graduated from the National Institute of Justice, but to bring new people into the system, the SCM must become functional as swiftly as possible.

“Many trained young people with good grades haven’t been accepted into the system so far. We hope the new SCM will adopt a different approach and will realize how important it is for these skilled young people who are not tainted with system corruption to come and supplement the ranks. I didn’t confirm judges, including young ones, because the information presented to me by the institutions showed that these persons committed abuses or have smaller incomes than expenses. The integrity of these persons was in question and I didn’t confirm them therefore,” stated Maia Sandu.

The General Assembly of Judges set for March 17 was interrupted until April 28. In the meeting, the judges didn’t name the judge members to the Superior Council of Magistracy. The judges said they will do this after the Supreme Court of Justice pronounces on the challenges filed by the judges rejected by the pre-vetting commission.

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