Civil society expresses disagreement about acquittal of Papuc and Botnari


The Supreme Court of Justice recently decided that former Minister of the Interior Gheorghe Papuc should pay only a fine, while the former general commissioner of Chisinau municipality Vladimir Botnari was acquitted on the count of professional negligence during the events of April 2009. A number of civil society organizations signed a call by which they express their disagreement over this decision, saying the punishment is too mild and the ECHR criticized such a practice in October 2009, IPN reports.

The civil society organizations say that by its decision to quash the January 19 decision of the Chisinau Appeals Court, by which Gheorghe Papuc and Vladimir Botnari were convicted of professional negligence that resulted in the death of a person, the Supreme Court of Justice did an injustice.

The signatories consider the acquittal of Gheorghe Papuc and Vladimir Botnari, who were accused of committing offenses that has serious consequences, is groundless and irresponsible. “The acquittal of persons reasonably suspected of taking actions that resulted in use of torture and inhuman treatment represents evident defiance of the victims of the April 2009 events, of civil society and of the provisions of international treaties signed by Moldova, which provide that torture cannot be used even in situations of war,” said the signatories.

They demand that the Supreme Court of Justice should publish its argumentation over the decision concerning Gheorghe Papuc and Vladimir Botnari as soon as possible and should review its decisions on similar cases. It should also establish if the uniform judicial practice concerning individualization of criminal punishment was observed in the case of Gheorghe Papuc and Vladimir Botnari and if the decision was adopted in accordance with the ECHR’s case law.

The call was signed by Amnesty International Moldova, Promo-LEX, the Legal Resources Center of Moldova and the Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims “Memoria”.