Moldova’s National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is demanding that the criminal investigation against Alexandr Stoianoglo, the suspended Prosecutor General, be conducted in a non-politicized, transparent and fair manner, IPN reports.
In a joint statement, 23 non-governmental organizations call on prosecutors to bring out relevant facts which can convince the general public that the criminal proceedings against Alexandr Stoianoglo are not unfounded. The NGOs also express their concern over “reports of influence exerted on the prosecutor assigned to the case, but also credible information that Alexandr Stoianoglo’s lawyers do not have the possibility to communicate with him”.
According to the statement, such practices are unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law. “The swiftness with which the criminal case against Mr. Stoianoglo has been started, his arrest has been warranted and conducted, is surprising. The lack of information does not allow us to judge on the merits of the accusations against Alexandr Stoianoglo, but at the same time, we consider it imperative that prosecutors and courts show exemplary transparency and respect for legal standards”, reads the statement.
Judges and prosecutors are urged to reject any political pressure, and political forces to abstain from politicizing the investigation. “Justice must be administered in courtrooms, not in the street or on political fora. We hope that this case is not used by prosecutors for retaliation, and the Superior Council of Prosecutors will react accordingly to any misconduct committed by prosecutors”.
The joint public statement has been signed by the Moldovan Center for Legal Resources (CRJM), the Independent Analytical Center Expert-Grup, the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, Terra-1530, the Regional Center for Social Initiatives and Sustainable Development, the Institute of Public Policies, the National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM), Transparency International Moldova, Promo-LEX Association, the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance, the Independent Press Association, the Foundation for Development of Moldova, the WatchDog.md Community, the International Association of River Keepers Eco-Tiras, Caroma Nord, the Soros-Moldova Foundation, the Foreign Policy Association, Amnesty International Moldova, the Alliance for Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Eco-Razeni, IM Swedish Development Partner, the Center for Policies and Structural Reforms, and the National Network LEADER.
Arrested and suspended from office on Tuesday, Alexandr Stoianoglo is being investigated on criminal charges of abuse of office, bribery, perjury and facilitation of an organized criminal group. Proceedings were started on a complaint submitted by PAS lawmaker Lilian Carp, who alleged among other things that Stoianoglo, while being an MP, promoted legislation that facilitated the Moldovan part of the infamous Russian Laundromat. Critics however accuse the ruling party PAS of trying to intimidate and remove an inconvenient prosecutor general.
Currently Stoianoglo is under a 30-day house arrest which was ordered yesterday.