Obstacles are placed to realization of right to defense in Metalferos case, statement

Members of the Moldovan Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals Recycling and Processing Association, who are featured in the case of Metalferos, meet with obstacles in realizing their right to defense as the main principles of court proceedings are being violated. The defense is unable to familiarize itself with the materials of the case in the order and in the conditions stipulated by law. The accusations were made by the Association’s president Ion Drăniceru in a news conference at IPN.

According to Ion Drăniceru, on December 1 the prosecutor in charge of the case Vladislav Căruceru issued an order by which he unilaterally set the timetable for presenting the materials of the case to the parties for these to examine them. Each of those involved and the lawyer were given by six days to familiarize themselves with 259 volumes of the file. Instead of enabling the defense to examine the materials, conditions that flagrantly violate the fundamental rights are imposed. “It is evident that the six-day period is insufficient for familiarizing oneself with the materials of the case,” stated Ion Drăniceru.

He disapproves of the proposal to present the materials of the case in electronic format that is stipulated in the order. He said the Penal Procedure Code provides that the materials are presented on numbered sheets of paper in a file. At the request of parties, there are also presented audio and video recordings.

The fact that it was decided to present separate volumes of the file, not the whole file for examining it is also a violation. Ion Drăniceru considers the prosecutor artificially creates such circumstances so that the defense does not fully benefit from its rights. The order was made on December 1, while at 8am on Decembers 2 the presentation of the materials started already. The periods for communicating the procedures are intentionally not respected.

Members of the Moldovan Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals Recycling and Processing Association are accused of forming part of a criminal group that was created by the ex-Democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc in 2009. The Association, which collects metals and sells them to the state-owned company “Metalferos”, is accused of falsifying procurement documents and of not declaring the real value of transactions, causing damage to the state budget this way. The Association’s administration denies any wrongdoing.

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