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Moldova journalists, law experts protest for full online publicity of court decisions, Supreme Council of Magistrates partially fulfills expectations

On October 10th, several journalists, lawyers, legal experts and civil society representatives protested in front of the building of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) of Moldova against the new publishing rules for court decisions. The draft initially intended to anonymize the identities of any persons involved in the court decisions on the site of the court decisions.

Source: zdg.md

An appeal signed by over 70 NGOs reads that the new rules would close the judicial system from the public, decrease the trust in the justice and cancel the major progress of Moldova in ensuring transparency of the judicial system starting from 2009. The journalists and the civil society representatives argue that the tracking of the penal history of wanna-be politicians or the monitoring of corruption would be impossible once the anonymization takes place.

The night before the protest, Justice Minister Vladimir Cebotari wrote on his Facebook page that he had told the Magistrates from CSM not to approve the draft of the published court decisions.

In the end, the Council of Magistrates approved a draft created by the Supreme Court of Justice, one that is allegedly in accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. Even if they were asked to review some too general provisions, the members of the Council still approved the rules on publishing the court decisions. According to Ziarul de Gardă that published the draft, the anonymization would be in place only in some cases (what specific cases?). Nevertheless, the draft still does not have the provision for the publishing of the agenda of a trial and the provision for publishing information on sessions and hearings at least three days ahead of them.

On the same day, a member of the Council, Teodor Cârnaț, resigned after he failed the integrity test with the polygraph when applying for the position of chair of the National Integrity Authority. Cârnaț has been a member of the Council since 2013.

How much integrity can other members of the Supreme Council hold in them, yet? Are they afraid only of fully published and available online court decisions?

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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Justice

Justice Minister: Moldova has an inter-state conflict with Russia on the control of Transnistria

12 April 2018- The Justice Minister of Moldova, Victoria Iftodi, has participated at the Ministerial Conference in Denmark where more than 20 Justice Ministers adopted the Copenhagen Declaration. The latter voices the concerns of the overload of cases over at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and proposes recommendations.

Iftodi reportedly motivated that the overload of the ECtHR shows the necessity to reform the national system of justice and its performance in the remedy of human rights violations. The Justice Minister emphasized the need to ensure the universality of the human rights to an equal extent in the inter-state areas:

“The Republic of Moldova is confronted with a situation of inter-state conflict with the Russian Federation. As the European Court of Human Rights repeatedly stated, the Republic of Moldova does not exercise an effective control in the occupied territories. Appealing to the ECtHR remains to be the sole efficient method of remedy of the violations of fundamental rights of residents of those territories”, declared Iftodi.

The European Convention for Human Rights entered into force on 12 September 1997 in Moldova.

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Justice

Former MP Chiril Lucinschi condemned to 5 years and a half of prison for money laundering

4 April 2018- The Court of Chișinău (Buiucani) condemned Chiril Lucinschi, former MP, and son of second President of Moldova Petru Lucinschi, to 5 years and a half of imprisonment. The sentence is also accompanied by a penalty fee of 27500 Lei for false declarations, and a ban of 4 years on occupying public positions.

According to the Anticorruption Prosecution Office of Moldova, half of Lucinschi’s two lands, his house, and 23 thousand euros were confiscated within the case.

“There is a feeling that the sentence was written in a place other than court. This sentence is illegal. We showed all proof destroying the accusations”, said the ex-MP after the court session, quoted by Newsmaker.

Lucinschi will be out of domicile arrest but under judiciary control until the final sentence is made public. Prosecutor Eugen Rurac did not indicate if he would appeal the decision, while Lucinschi’s lawyers said that they would contest the sentence and the 10 months long house arrest of their client at the ECtHR.

God forbid if you end up in court and have to face the Moldovan justice. I am sorry about the law students: they learn one thing and have to face another one. From the very beginning, the proof presented by the prosecution was illegal and the court should not have received it”lawyer Corina Stratan told Newsmaker.

Ex-MP Chiril Lucinschi risks up to 10 years of imprisonment for money laundering

Chiril Lucinschi was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Center and the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office on May 25th. Lucinschi is accused, together with three representatives of a company, of money laundering from Banca de Economii (BEM), Banca Socială and Unibank.

Chiril Lucinschi, son of the second President of the independent Moldova Petru Lucinschi, has been a Liberal-Democrat deputy since December 2010. He left the Parliament in February 2017 and ceded 75% of shares at TV7 to an association of journalists.

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Justice

Mihai Poalelungi was appointed the judge of the Constitutional Court

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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