As long as the persons do not answer financially for the delays in examining cases and responsibility remains formal, we will not have high-quality justice and the cases in court will not be managed efficiently, said lawyer Angela Istrate. According to her, the frequent delays are due to the fact that the prosecution cannot present the evidence on which the indictment is based or the provided evidence is not sufficient.
“I do not see that planned change in the administration of justice, which is awaited in society. We have the same number of criminal cases that are delayed and examined for years. If measures are not taken, the whole society will be affected,” Angela Istrate stated in a news conference hosted by IPN.
The lawyer gave as example the delay in examining the case of Petru Zadîr, who was sentenced by the Basarabeasca Court to seven years in jail. Later, acquittal sentences on some of the counts and charge dropping decisions on the other counts were pronounced in this case. But the given case was sent by the Supreme Court of Justice back for retrial for two times and a conviction judgment was ultimately passed in this case and the person was sentenced to eight years behind bars after the proceedings lasted for ten years.
“In these criminal cases, most of the proofs could not be presented by the defense because the case examination period was very long. A part of the witnesses died, while another part went abroad and the lawyers could not substantiate this. I think that when an acquittal, charge dropping sentence is pronounced and then the case is sent back for retrial, the higher courts should pay special attention to the evidence presented in court so as to elucidate the circumstances of the case and to keep the possibility for the parties to prove their innocence if the trial lasts for an indefinite period of time,” stated the lawyer.
She also referred to a civil case when a family in 2006 bought a lot of land in Ialoveni town. That lot was later claimed by someone even if the local public authorities issued building permits and certificates and authorized the plan for building a house there. “The case has been tried for 16 years, from 2006 until 2022, without leaving the ordinary court and without the court pronouncing on the protection of the ownership right,” explained Angela Istrate.
The lawyer noted that she analyzed the conclusions reached by the Judicial Inspectorate over the delays in judging such cases. The heavy workload of courts is one of the reasons. But such a reason is inopportune as the judges earlier didn’t have computers and logistic bases and pronounced séances that were written by hand and the sentences were given on time. The judges now have other conditions and are assisted by consultants, but the quality of justice in this regard hasn’t improved.
“It is also noted that the lawyers delay the examination. I consider this is irrelevant as any judge, when this decides that a case is to be tried, is obliged to coordinate the date and hour of the hearing with the participants in the trial. In such a case, the hearing will take place. Someone wants to shift responsibility onto the parties, but the Code of Penal and Civil Procedure stipulates methods by which the parties in a trial can be held accountable,” said Angela Istrate.
The conference forms part of the series of conferences held as part of IPN News Agency’s project “Support for the Justice Reform through multimedia coverage of cases of alleged injustice”. The Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences. IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.