Justice in the Republic of Moldova continues to be selective. Findings, ideas and solutions, in a round table
Justice in the Republic of Moldova continues to be selective. The selectivity of justice can be influenced not only by the interest in the political sphere, but also by the interest of some influence groups in business or even in the criminal world. The indulgence of prosecutors and judges in some cases can be seen, and in the case of other cases it is or addresses the opposite diameter and this cannot be called as dream justice. Statements in this regard were made at a round table, based on the study: “Challenges of selective justice in the Republic of Moldova: findings, ideas and solutions.” The event was organized by Freedom House in Moldova and the Association of Lawyers for Human Rights, IPN reports.
Journalist Mariana Rață, co-author of the study, says that the phenomenon of selective justice must be seen as a product of the unnatural collaboration between justice, on the one hand, and influence groups of any kind (politics, business or even the criminal world), on the other hand.
During the monitoring, several criminal cases were selected. The analysis showed that, compared to the previous study, the situation of the communication stage of the courts has improved. Of the 43 cases analyzed, 16 found political context or political affiliation of the defendant or suspect. Of these, in four cases it is about exponents of the Party of Specialists, and in three cases they are part of the Șor Political Party. At the same time, out of 43 cases, in 22 cases it was found the affiliation of the subjects to the “Plato interest group”, and in seven other cases – suspects in criminal cases are in hostile relations with the “Plato group”.
The jurist Cristina Țărnă, co-author of the study, specified that in nine out of 43 cases, but also in six cases not included in the monitoring process, the non-uniform practice of the prosecutor’s office regarding the illicit enrichment of judges and prosecutors was observed through ANI findings, the waiver of the accusation – in the case of Veaceslav Platon and its maintenance – in the case of Vlad Filat, the acquittal of Judge Bîrnaz, accused of involvement in the Laundromat or involvement of the General Prosecutor on the Plato case. In 4 of the 43 cases, it was established that there were at least 60 witnesses, some of whom could have been treated more as perpetrators. 26 of the 43 cases are in the judicial phase, 25 were public, and a trial was closed, at the request of the accuser. Among the 43 cases monitored, there were two cases of intimidation of judges and two cases of intimidation of judges on cases outside the sample. In three cases, the source of the intimidation was the prosecutors. The author of the study recommends that law enforcement, prosecutors and courts avoid differentiated approaches, especially if people affiliated with the interest group or government have the best advantages compared to people seen as their competitors.
The Minister of Justice, Sergiu Litvinenco, agreed after a Moldovan justice field is still selective. Between the first report on the selectivity of justice, in 2019, and in the second, in 2021, there are certain differences in nuance, but in fact, the situation remains just as bad. In his opinion, there is the indulgence of prosecutors and judges in some cases, and in the case of other cases it is or addresses the opposite diameter and this cannot be called fair justice. In the view of the Minister, fair justice and when it is the price of things the same, regardless of the subjects of illegal acts. “The basic conclusion is that we have a lot to do, to build a justice system that should be classified as selective justice, but that it has serious signs of improvement. The reform plans in the field derive somehow from the conclusions of the report “, added the minister.
Laura Hruby, charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Chisinau, mentions that, like other countries, the US has learned through a long and sometimes difficult experience that justice works only if everyone is equal before the law. This principle is the cornerstone of any democracy. In his address to the United Nations this week, US President Joe Biden acknowledged the determination of Moldova’s citizens to strengthen democratic institutions. “You are here because you are part of that struggle for democracy, working to ensure justice for all Moldovan citizens in practice. The United States will remain a reliable partner in this important process, “said Laura Hruby.
Freedom House Program Director for Europe and Eurasia Mark Behrendt says that in 2019, when the first monitoring phase began, they were aware that they were engaging in a very sensitive and polarized debate about the scale and political impact on the justice sector. Freedom House and Human Rights Lawyers mention the importance of an objective analysis of the issue. The first monitoring report highlighted the specific manifestations of selective justice in Moldova, confirmed and what the second report.