The “LEGATHON: Hack Corruption. Law to the People” is an event which is organised for the first time in Moldova, being designed to gather 30 young professionals and enthusiasts passionate about programming languages, databases, UX and web design.
Guided by information technology specialists and anti-corruption experts and working in six teams by five persons, the participants will develop applications for the National Anticorruption Centre’s (NAC), which would be easily accessible to the general public and would allow reporting the laws or normative acts containing ambiguous provisions which may generate corruption cases, as well as build a friendly environment for people who have difficulties in interpreting the legislation, according to the NAC official page. The best application proposal will be actually used for the NAC platform and will be awarded.
LEGATHON will take place on November 8-10 at Digital Park in Chișinău.
The event is organised within the framework of the “Curbing Corruption by Building Sustainable Integrity in the Republic of Moldova” Project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with the National Anticorruption Centre, with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
See more details on the event’s Facebook page.
A building from Chișinău was declared “the ugliest building in the world”
The “Romanița” building in the center of the Moldovan capital has been named by the French journalists as “the ugliest building in the world” in a documentary produced by Arte TV. The film is part of a French project that talks about socialist buildings, which are now abandoned.
This disappointed the artist from Moldova Tatiana Fiodorova, who appears as the protagonist in the documentary film and afterwards filed a complaint against the French channel Arte.TV. “The documentary is more like an anti-communist horror movie than a research film. They cut and pasted the sequences in such a way that it changed the meaning of the words I said during the interview,” claimed the artist. Shortly after, Arte.TV renamed the documentary to “Moldova: The Colossal Communist Tower”.
The “Romanița” building has a height of about 73 meters, being the second tallest building in Chișinău. It has 22 floors, out of which 16 are inhabited by over 300 residents. A few years ago, this building attracted the attention of a team of Polish designers who made a selection of constructions from Eastern European countries that deserve attention, and which in time would degrade if no one intervenes.
In 2009, “Romanița” inspired Tatiana Fiodorova to realise an art project where she presented the uniqueness of this construction and the need to keep it. In this regard, she was contacted by several French journalists from Arte.TV who proposed to talk about the project and about the history of this building. “The filming for the documentary took 2 days. I talked about the project and how we collaborated with the locals, to give this building a new chance. The film’s producers asked me to invite some locals I told about. Some of them accepted. Now, the meaning of their message was transformed into a political one, although during the filming there was no ideological context, ” argued the artist.
Former Prime Minister Vladimir Filat was released from detention
Former prime minister Vladimir Filat was freed from detention on December 3rd, after a request was registered at the Chișinău District Court by the administration of the prison no. 13 (the prison where the former prime minister spent his detention) on November 12th. The detention of Vladimir Filat was reduced by 709 days based on the decision of the national court as compensation for the inhuman and degrading treatment that was inflicted to him.
Vladimir Filat was supposed to serve a nine years prison sentence until November 5th, 2022. However, the law provides for the possibility of conditional release after serving 2/3 of the sentence. The former prime minister could have been released from detention on October 15th, 2021.
However, in July and October this year, there were two court decisions (based on a decision of the European Court of Human Rights) on reducing the sentence by 709 days, as a compensation for the bad conditions of detention. Thus, after the execution of 709 days reduction, it was concluded that Vladimir Filat has already reached 2/3 of his sentence on November 6th.
“Filat was sentenced to nine years in prison. Two-thirds of the sentence is six years. Now he’s four years old. One year was calculated for two, because he was sentenced in inhuman conditions. […] The law allows that when there are no civil actions and no recovery of damages,” explained Filat’s lawyer Ion Vâzdoaga for TV8.
Vladimir Filat was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment on October 15th, 2015, being found guilty of passive corruption and traffic of influence. His criminal case was directly related to the disappearance of one billion dollars from 3 banks of the Republic of Moldova.
There is also a second criminal case, in which the former prime minister is charged with committing large-scale money laundering. The former prime minister pleads innocent.
The same old way of selecting a new Prosecutor General of the Republic of Moldova?
The process of selecting the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Moldova is ongoing, as well as the reform of judiciary. It seems that in a short time Moldova will have a new head of the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO). However, the impression that the same old methods based on politicised decisions, violation of the legal regime of conflict of interests, opacity and impartiality is still there.
A while ago, the contest for selecting the Prosecutor General became the apple of discord within the previous coalition government (formed of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova -PSRM – and the political bloc ACUM), after former Minister of Justice Olesea Stamate issued an order of cancelling the results of the contest for the position of Prosecutor General. The former minister declared that the contest was vitiated due to the lack of enough information about the candidates and the impartiality of one member of the Commission in charge with the evaluation.
In a snowball effect, the Government assumed the responsibility for amending the Law on Prosecutor’s Office, so that the prime minister would have been responsible for pre-selecting the candidates for the position of Prosecutor General and submitting the list of candidates to the Superior Council of Prosecutors (SCP), while the existing legal provisions stipulate that the pre-selection is done by a Commission of Ministry of Justice. The socialists (PSRM) was totally against such an amendment. As a result, the coalition fell and the Government was dismissed by a no-confidence vote adopted by the Parliament.
The old contest is the new contest
The same list of four selected candidates for the position of Prosecutor General was transmitted to the SCP by the decision of the new Minister of Justice, Fadei Nagacevschi, despite all allegations made by the previous Minister of Justice.
On November 28th, the interviews for the position of Prosecutor General contest took place. Subsequently, the members of the SCP have to evaluate the results and appoint a winner, submitting the candidacy to the president of the Republic of Moldova, who has to decide whether to sign the appointment decree or not.
According to the regulation, the SCP has to publish the average of the total score obtained by each candidate on its official web page within 24 hours from the end of the interview. This time though, it was decided (internally) that only the average total score for each candidate will be made public, as during the last evaluations, the score given by each member of the Commission was made public and, as a consequence, the former Minister Stamati refused to submit the list of candidates to the SCP.
Minister of Justice Fadei Nagacevschi declared that “There are elements of privacy. Not everything needs to be made transparent.“ This time, the new Minister of Justice wanted to make sure that the contest would not be suspended and the list of candidates would be passed on.
Doubts from inside
Eduard Bulat, a former candidates for the position of Prosecutor General who also holds the office of the deputy of Prosecutor General, filed a lawsuit for violation of the legal regime of conflict of interest and lack of transparency against the Ministry of Justice, challenging the way the contest for the pre-selection of the head of the General Prosecutor’s Office candidates was conducted, as well as the results of this contest.
“One of the issues is regarding the absolute nullity of the act issued by the Commission, determined by the violation of the legal regime of conflict of interests, because one of the candidates was in certain relations with one of the members of the Commission. […] There was a margin of subjectivity left for the members of the Commission who evaluated the candidates according to criteria I am not aware of,” said Eduard Bulat.
The Chisinau Court rejected the application submitted by Eduard Bulat, mentioning that there are not enough reasonable suspicions, sufficient and relevant reasons that would justify the suspension of the administrative act until its legality is verified in the judicial proceedings.
There are still four candidates selected by the Commission of the Ministry of Justice out of whom the Prosecutor General could be appointed.
One of them is Alexandr Stoianoglo who was also a deputy speaker of the Parliament, being elected on the lists of the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM). In July 2019, after Vladimir Plahotniuc’s resignation from the DPM leadership, Stoianoglo’s name was mentioned among the potential future leaders of DPM.
Vladislav Gribincea is another candidate who was the president of the Centre for Legal Resources of Moldova (CLRM). He didn’t hold any office, but has been involved as an expert in the elaboration of the Strategy for the Reform of the Judiciary for the years 2011-2016. The candidate has been a loyal donor of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) for the last three years.
Veaceslav Soltan is a prosecutor at the General Prosecutor’s Office, being also the head of the Information Technologies and Fight Against Cyber Crimes Department within the General Prosecutor’s Office.
And the last candidate is Oleg Crâșmaru who is a senior criminal prosecution officer at the National Anti-corruption Centre (NAC), previously working at the Customs Service, being head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and head of the Special Cases Section.
More information about the candidates here.
(Update) The new Prosecutor General
The SCP already selected one candidate out of 4 proposed and submitted the candidacy to the Head of State for signing the appointing decree. Alexandr Stoianoglo, the candidate that had previously a DPM affiliation, was announced as the candidate with the highest average score.
President Igor Dodon signed the decree. The new Prosecutor General has already been presented to the General Prosecutor’s Office. Everything happened in less than 24 hours since the interviews with candidates were conducted.
“The appointment of the Prosecutor General is a long awaited moment, in order to overcome the deadlock of the General Prosecutor’s Office. I reiterate that, nowadays, the Republic of Moldova cannot afford to maintain a key institution in a semi-functional regime,” declared Igor Dodon.
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