The law enforcement agencies choose the suitable position of not bothering the political class. People with courage, either old or new, should come to the system and this is a decisive factor both in politics and in the law enforcement agencies, expert in corruption fighting Cristina Țărnă, ex-vice director of the National Anticorruption Center (NAC), stated in an intervire for IPN.
According to her, the modification of the interpretation of the Constitution’s article concerning the presumption of legality of property is an important element in the fight against corruption in the Republic of Moldova. “Even if we have it – there are a lot of other instruments that the law enforcement agencies do not use appropriately – I don’t know if this can help if we do not have courage in institutions. I consider that much more would have been done in the absence of such an instrument, but with the presence of courage. Nothing will happen if we have this instrument, but do not have courage. The human factor - those who manage us at country level and at the level of law enforcement agencies - matters a lot,” stated Cristina Țărnă.
The practice of the states that achieved results in fighting corruption and where the presumption of legality of property in relation to functionaries does not exist should be borrowed by Moldova. “This is a good practice (presumption of legality of property, e.n.) in relation to the ordinary citizens for protecting the property of those who worked, of the ordinary people, not of functionaries. I think this presumption should not function absolutely for everyone. It should protect the ordinary people, not the functionaries,” stated the expert.
As regards the involvement of the political factor in the work of law enforcement agencies, Cristina Țărnă said it is not possible to speak about separate processes as long as the NAC director or the prosecutor general are named with the involvement of the political factor. “At political level and at the level of persons who are named as managers of these institutions, when having good institutions with proper instruments, laws, a budget, nothing or almost nothing will be done to meet people’s expectations,” aid the ex-vice director of the NAC.
Cristina Țărnă also said that the citizens want to see the corrupt officials are really punished, with jail terms, with heavy fines, with confiscation. Distrust appears when a politician or a businessman convicted for causing damage of tens or hundreds or millions or even billions gets a punishment similar to that of a mother who stole 5,000 lei to feed her children. “The judges have a very wide discretion margin in implementing the law and what I tried to do in 2013 was to show that facing such a big problem as corruption in the Republic of Moldova, we have a very mild approach to corrupt persons on the part of judges, as if these do not realize that corruption is a problem,” stated the expert.
The source of income is the first thing that should be considered when speaking about a corrupt functionary. This should be dismissed and, depending on the situation, should be jailed. This should be punished financially and banned access to the post as this is what counts the most for this person. There are corrupt persons who agree to stay in jail, but to keep their property and ‘confiscation’ is a weak aspect in Moldova.
According to Cristina Țărnă, one in four corrupt functionaries does not return to the post. Three in four return, with a conviction for corruption. “This is serious as a person who wants to renounce an act of corruption is discouraged,” noted the expert.
The interview was produced in the framework of IPN News Agency’s project “Injustice Revealed through the Multimedia”. The video variant can be seen here.