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7 people charged with attempt of assassinating Vladimir Plahotniuc

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On October 25th, the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Causes announced that it has completed the criminal investigation and sent the criminal case materials to the court for 7 accused individuals.

The defendants are accused of committing several offenses, namely: preparing a person’s customized kill; procurement, the illegal keeping of weapons and ammunition; organizing, entering and staying illegally on the territory of the Republic of Moldova for several persons; as well as the offense of illegal crossing of the state border.

According to the allegations, it was established, that between 2016 and April 2017, Caramalac Grigore set up and led an organized criminal group whose aim was the murder of Vladimir Plahotniuc – Democratic Party leader and Moldova’s most powerful criminal.

The defendants risk the following punishments:

  1. The act of intentional killing is punishable by imprisonment from 15 to 20 years.
  2. For the wearing, preservation, illegal use of weapons and ammunition, a prison sentence of 2 to 7 years may be imposed.
  3. In order to organize illegal migration, a fine of 1150 to 1350 conventional units or 5 to 7 years imprisonment can be imposed.
  4. For the illegal crossing of the state border, a fine of up to 750 conventional units or community service from 150 to 200 hours or imprisonment for up to 2 years may be imposed.

The accused individuals were arrested in April in coordination with the Ukrainian police.

Despite the fact he holds no governmental position, Vlad Plahotniuc is known for his control over the Government, judiciary branch, prosecution system and the anti-corruption bodies through his proxy Democratic Party, vassal-parties and particular persons in the top management of Moldovan institutions. Vlad Plahotniuc is often called the one and only oligarch left in Moldova, the grey eminence or the puppeteer of Moldovan politics.

Justice

Mihai Poalelungi was appointed the judge of the Constitutional Court

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Mihai Poalelungi, the only registered candidate for the position, was appointed as the judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova. His candidacy has been approved by the Superior Council of Magistrates.

The position of the judge at the Constitutional Court became vacant after Tudor Panţîru resigned as president and judge in January due to personal reasons.

The Constitutional Court has six judges that are appointed by the Parliament, the Government, and the Superior Council of Magistracy. They may hold office for two terms.

The former head of Moldova’s Supreme Court, Mihai Poalelungi has previously told Ziarul de Garda that he wants to “make better constitutional justice in Moldova”:

 “There is a close link between the subject of my practical work in Strasbourg and the area of constitutional law, and I believe that I will positively contribute to the achievement of a better constitutional justice in Moldova under my appointment to this position”, the magistrate said.

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Economy

US Ambassador: Moldova’s “progress disappointed” in 2017, some laws are “a step back”

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The United States Ambassador to Moldova, James D. Pettit, declared in a TV8 interview that Moldova’s “progress” was disappointing in 2017. According to Pettit, some laws promoted by the Moldovan authorities constituted “a step back for the country”.

“Last years, the international development partners were slightly disappointed with the lack of progress. Recently, (I) have seen different draft laws that were effectively a step back”, declared His Excellency. As dubious and problematic, Pettit mentioned the switch to the new electoral system and the draft law on the “decriminalizing of the economic crimes”, pushed by the Economy Ministry. At the same time, he pointed out that corruption is the problem number one and that Moldova needs structural reforms, not only technical ones.

Ambassador Pettit is not impressed by the 4% economic growth either:

We are happy to have seen economic growth, but I would say that 4% for such a small country like Moldova is a relatively modest achievement”, added the American Ambassador.

Despite the critique brought by the US and EU Ambassadors, the Prime-Minister, Pavel Filip, did not renounce from the draft law on “decriminalizing economic crimes”, claiming that the idea came out of the “discussions with business”.

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Justice

Moldovan prosecutors conducted over 4300 special surveillance operations in 2017

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The General Prosecution’s Office of Moldova published a short summary of the report on the “special investigation activities” conducted in 2017 by prosecutors.

Within 57313 penal cases, the prosecutors sent 4367 requests authorizing special investigation measures by courts. 50 requests were rejected.

Most frequent “special measures” were:

  • intercepting and recording communication and images- 3142 cases;
  • collecting information from operators of electronic communication services- 803 cases;
  • localizing with technical means such as GPS- 287;
  • researching the domicile and/or placing audio and video recording devices within the domicile buildings- 63;
  • monitoring or control of financial transactions- 12;
  • supervising the domicile through technical means- 10.

In 581 cases, special surveillance actions were authorized directly by the prosecutors:

  • identifying the client, the owner or the user of the communication services- 264 cases;
  • visual surveillance- 151;
  • control of the extorted money or goods transfers- 99;
  • control acquisition- 31;
  • control delivery- 2.

According to the General Prosecutor, the special investigation measures were conducted in investigating “serious, very serious and exceptionally serious crimes”.

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