Remand detention longer than 12 months is an abuse, including on the part of judges, experts

The application of remand detention for the same count for a period longer than 12 months is an abuse, including on the part of judges who accept prosecutors’ requests and of judges who reject lawyers’ appeals. The European legislation provides that any form of extension of pretrial detention should be accompanied by new evidence that would explain the absolute necessity of implementation, international human rights expert Ana Ursachi and lawyer Igor Vieru stated in a news conference at IPN.

In the news conference, the experts also referred to the case of Oleg Pruteanu, who has been held in remand detention for 32 months in the absence of a sentence. In a videoconference from abroad, Ana Ursachi said remand detention continues to be a problem for the justice sector of the Republic of Moldova. The case of Oleg Pruteanu, besides the prolonged remand detention, also witnessed the abusive attitude of judges who extended the pretrial detention. “None of the requests to extend the remand detention was supplemented with evidence,” stated the lawyer.

According to her, the law says it clearly that when the court decides for or against the extension of remand detention, it should take into account all the evidence provided by the prosecutor. For each new month of pretrial detention, the evidence should be new and should explain the absolute necessity, which is an imperative criterion imposed by the European legislation. There are precedents of conviction of the country for violation of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, right to liberty and security. “The biggest blame is borne by the judges who didn’t know how to resist these influences and interference on the part of police officers and prosecutors. They discredited themselves and can be now blackmailed and are vulnerable. No one has chances for equitable justice and the case of Pruteanu shows that anyone who enters this ‘butchery’ of the system risks being destroyed,” stated Ana Ursachi.

Lawyer Vadim Vieru said the prosecutors, regrettably, regard pretrial detention as a repression measure, while the judges, regrettably, accept such approaches. “Why do they accept them? There are many discussions in society, including enough suspicions about the use of pressure, as the judges of inquiry are afraid, primarily in cases where particular interests are pursued, not to accept prosecutors’ requests to apply remand detention,” he stated.

According to the lawyer, another aspect of the case of Oleg Pruteanu is the authorities’ attempt to intimidate lawyers. “This situation, concerning lawyers already, arouses questions in relation to Article 8 of the Convention. The case law of the European Court of Human Rights clearly says that any interference of the state in the work of lawyers collaterally implies a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights,” noted Vadim Vieru.

The news conference titled “Injustice that kills. Serious details about the case of Oleg Pruteanu, who has been illegally held under arrest for 32 months, without a sentence. He was taken out of the hunger strike that lasted for a month almost dead. What do experts in the field say about this case” forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of the IPN project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. The project’s partner is the Lawyers Union of Moldova. IPN Agency does not assume the right 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 public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences.

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