First definitive conviction of Transnistrian militiaman for use of torture

The Bălți Appeals Court upheld the decision of the ordinary court by which an employee of the Transnistrian militia was sentenced to 15 years in jail for kidnapping and torturing a couple from Florești district. According to experts of Promo-LEX Association, this is the first definitive conviction by the constitutional courts of law of a Transnistria militiaman for use of torture, IPN reports.

In a news conference, Promo-LEX lawyer Pavel Cazacu said the Bălți Appeals Court passed its judgment on April 8. It upheld the sentence passed by the Soroca Court on August 5, 2020, the decision being final and susceptible of enforcement. However, the convict can challenge it in the Supreme Court of Justice. The court of law fully accepted the civil lawsuit and ordered to pay €20,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damages to the two victims.

The former employee of the Transnistrian militia was convicted of violation of domicile, kidnaping and acts of torture against two residents of Florești district. The case happened on the night of April 9, 2015 and involved a number of employees of the Transnistrian militia.

According to the lawyer, the case started by the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova remained suspended until January 2020 because the culprits avoided legal responsibility. In January 2020, one of the culprits was arrested by the constitutional authorities. On March 20, 2020, the case was registered for examination and the motivated sentence was passed on August 5, 2020. The sentence of the ordinary court was challenged.

“This conviction sentence shows to everyone, including the constitutional authorities, that it is possible. The serious abuses can be combated, an efficient investigation can be conducted and the responsible persons can be punished appropriately. It is important that it inspires the victims of other serious abuses with optimism that their rights will be defended and those to blame will be finally held accountable,” noted Pavel Cazacu.

The executive director of Promo-LEX Ion Manole said he learned about the first case of kidnapping in 2000-2001 and since then these cases continued. Moreover, the phenomenon of kidnapping converted and occurs on the territory controlled by the constitutional authorities with the involvement of employees of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The real number of such cases is not known as many of them happened as a result of cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the so-called authorities from the left side of the Nistru. The number of cases of kidnapping rise to tens.

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