The Prosecutor General’s Office should hold accountable the prosecutors who commit abuses and illegalities, said lawyers Veaceslav Țurcan and Maxim Belinschi against whom two criminal cases were started as an intimidation instrument, according to them. The two lawyers were acquitted in a criminal case in which they were charged with falsification of statements. But the prosecutor in charge of the case filed an appeal. The intimidation continued by a criminal case by which attempts were made to seize the legal assistance contracts.
In a news conference at IPN, the two men’s lawyer Valeriu Pleșca said that both Veaceslav Țurcan and Maxim Belinschi are active human rights defenders who dealt with resonant cases when defending clients. They had a say in many cases and made public statements contrary to those made by the authorities. Four years ago, they were accused of falsification of statements in a case that was started illegally. As a result of trials that lasted for four years, the first court acquitted them.
After the acquittal sentence was passed, the prosecutors disagreed with the punishment and filed an appeal. They also asked 100,000 lei damages. Valeriu Pleșca said this case is one of the 38 cases mentioned in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s report as suspected of having been started illegally, abusively and selectively and based on political reasons. Even if the prosecutor general said that the actions against illegally investigated persons will be dropped, this wasn’t done. The prosecutor general’s assertions run counter to the actions of inferior prosecutors who file appeals against acquittal sentences.
For his part, Maxim Belinschi said that he and his colleague Veaceslav Țurcan have been investigated for the simple reason that they represented injured parties that were citizens of the U.S. in a criminal case stated against a former female police officer from the municipality of Bălți. “We dared to go against the system, to demand that the law be obeyed and that the persons who committed illegalities against our clients should be held accountable. As a result, we were ourselves charged, with falsification of statements,” he stated.
According to the lawyer, the epopee started with the judgment passed by a judge of inquiry of the Râșcani Court, who, against the guarantees enjoyed by a lawyer, obliged the district prosecution body to question them and charge them. The prosecutor who started the criminal case was promoted. After this left, another two prosecutors continued his actions.
Maxim Belinschi also said that new intimidation was witnessed in the form of a criminal case by which attempts were made to seize the legal assistance contracts. The ordinance to this effect was signed by an anticorruption prosecutor and was maintained by the former chief of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office. This was ultimately annulled by the judge of inquiry. As they saw that they cannot obtain much in Chisinau, they transferred the case to the Bălți Prosecutor’s Office, which issued a new decision to seize the legal assistance contracts. Later, the court rejected this request and the Appeals Court upheld the decision. “The question to the Prosecutor General’s Office is: Why aren’t the prosecutors who committed illegalities held accountable? We filed complaints back in 2016,” he noted.
Veaceslav Țurcan said they have a number of questions as to the criminal cases started against them. The only thing that should be done by the PGO is to go to Bălți and see all those illegal procedural documents signed by prosecutors and charge these. Such actions would give a very clear signal to prosecutors and to society as regards the wish clean the system.
The news conference entitled “Impunity of prosecutors” forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of IPN’s project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. IPN Agency does not undertake to decide if the organizers of news conferences are right in the cases about which they will speak as this is the exclusive prerogative of justice, but the exaggeratedly long examination period of these cases, which is much longer than the law allows, can be considered an act of evident unfairness and injustice. IPN News Agency does not bear responsibility for the statements made public by the organizers of news conferences.