Slogan of reform should be “People of good faith in key posts”, judge

A large part of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers can be named players in the injustice mechanism and players in the corruption process, president of the Association “Voice of Justice”, judge Victoria Sanduța stated in an interview for IPN.

“We have public cases involving lawyers who resorted to influence peddling. They acted as intermediaries in the process of transmitting money from the client to the judge or prosecutor, while the judge or prosecutor, for their part, sold the decision or the judicial document that was necessary,” stated the judge.

According to her, it is important for persons who hold the post of judge or prosecutor to be people of good faith. “I would like the slogan of the justice sector reform to be “People of good faith in key posts”, depending on the decisions taken in the judicial system and in the prosecution service as, when there is good faith, no person would dare to use the law, to distort the law in the own interests or the interests of a small group of persons,” she stated.

Victoria Sanduța noted there were cases of bribery and traffic of influence and not only pecuniary, but also for advantages and not only personal ones, but also, for example, for members of the family. “Corruption does not mean only bribery and traffic of influence. Corruption also means unjust enrichment. The evident discrepancy between the living standards of a judge or prosecutor with their legally declared incomes is also an indicator of corruption. The problem is that those who should report and examine such acts do not do it and this is condemnable,” stated the judge.

She also said that some of her colleagues told her that they were pressed and intimidated by decision makers from the system, by court presidents and vice presidents, members of the Superior Council of Magistracy, by judges of the Supreme Court of Justice or the Appeals Court. They were pressed into taking particular decisions in cases. Regrettably, said Victoria Sanduța, those who tried to intimidate them will not be punished and will be even promoted. A classical relevant example is Mihai Murguleț, the judge who was excluded from the system when he denounced the pressure exerted by a large number of high-ranking officials.

The interview was held in the framework of IPN’s project “Exposing Injustice through Multimedia”. Victoria Sanduța is a judge of the Centru branch of the Chisinau City Court and president of the Association “Voice of Justice”. In a meeting of the Superior Council of Magistracy of July 2019, the judge read a common statement of judges by which these condemn the lack of independence and integrity of the Council and of the judicial system in general. She also named the members of the SCM “accomplices of Plahotniuc’s regime” and demanded that they should resign.

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