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Moldova former Transportation Minister condemned to one year and four months of prison

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On August 9th, Chișinău Court condemned the former Minister of Transportation, Iurie Chirinciuc, to one year and four months of semiclosed prison, a fee of 35 thousand lei and a 5 years ban to occupy any public position.

The sentence for influence traffic and abuse of power will be delayed for one year.

Prosecutor Victoria Furtună actually demanded 3 years of imprisonment, a fee of 1700 conventional units and only a 3 years ban from public service.

On April 27th, the Anti-Corruption officers and prosecutors arrested four persons apparently involved in a case of passive corruption. One of them is the Minister of Transportation and Road Infrastructure, Liberal Iurie Chirinciuc. Another person is the interim director of Road Administration and two of the arrested persons are heads of construction companies.

All of them are suspected of organizing a scheme of defrauding huge sums of money from road construction projects like the R6 M1 Ialoveni RSP/W6/05, financed by the European Investment Bank. Minister Chirinciuc together with the respective economic agents were forcing the contracted company to subcontract the affiliated companies.

Previously, Chirinciuc declared that his arrest had been made to “push the uninominal vote”, meaning that the Democratic Party (controlling the justice and prosecution system) wanted to get the draft law on the single-member constituency system approved in the Parliament. In the meantime, another mixed electoral system was approved.

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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The Academy of Sciences of Moldova has no president anymore. The shady resignation of Gheorge Duca

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Since February 2004 till November 2018, Gheorghe Duca was the head of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. Recently, he declared that he is going to leave his position because of health issues.

“Suspicions and uncertainty around the renewed case of my family’s income declaration have raised my blood pressure and blood glucose level. I do not want that the health problem I previously had would come back. Unfortunately, under the conditions of the new reforms, my managing experience is no longer required, there are other expectations and other prerogatives,” claimed Duca in an interview for Ziarul de Gardă.

In 2017, prosecutors initiated a criminal proceeding against Gheorghe Duca and Maria Duca (his wife), both being suspected of unjust enrichment. The proceeding was based on a complaint of Ilie Donica, the president of the Institute of Horticulture and Food Technologies, in the autumn of 2016. According to Donica, Gheorghe and Maria Duca would have illegally received in 2015 wages and bonuses in the total amount of about half a million of Lei from the activity carried out within the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (ASM), at the Academy of Sciences University, and some other institutions they were related to. Following Donica’s complaints, an investigation within the Ministry of Finance was renewed regarding the unreported income of Duca family and their undervalued properties.

It is speculated in the media that some of their illegal actions were already confirmed by the investigation of the Ministry of Finance and Mr. and Mrs. Duca confessed and returned a part of the money to the institutions in question.

An investigation conducted within the Journalism Investigative Centre showed that the real value of a holiday villa that was included in the list of their declared properties may exceed 100,000 euros, judging by the prices in that area. The villa is 658 square meters and is located in the town of Borsec, Harghita County, Romania. In the documents, the house value is only 12,500 euros. The president of the ASM told journalists that anyone can buy a villa in Borsec because it’s cheap.

In 2014, the National Integrity Commission has found that Gheorghe Duca and his wife violated the legal status of income and property declaration for 2013. The results of the investigation revealed that he did not declare 4 lands outside the city, 17 bank accounts, and the ownership of shares in several commercial companies.

Gheorghe Duca denied any allegations against him and his family.

“I do not consider myself guilty, I didn’t do any fraud schemes, but I have consolidated the properties of the Academy and didn’t allow the land privatization. I would have wanted, or not… to possess all the properties mentioned in the accusations. Our wealth was acquired during 40 years of activity of two people who had good positions and benefited from high salaries. Both my wife and I had an apartment when we married. Finally, we had parents who supported us and left us an inheritance of the assets they had accumulated.”

Duca states that the Academy of Sciences of Moldova registered impressive achievements during his presidency, the most important of them being the salaries raise, the growth of investments in science and the rehabilitation of the Academy’s infrastructure. “We were the first country from the post-Soviet area to be fully accepted in the European research area,” Duca said proudly in a dialog with tribuna.md.

However, he forgot to mention that, for example, the current wage for a researcher – 4800 lei (approximately 250 euro), that was increased from 500 lei in 2004, has been influenced by inflation and national currency depreciation.

“The Moldovan scientific community is highly appreciated in the European research area for its performance, given its limited resources, as well as for its flexibility and readiness to promote integration into the scientific community,” said Duca. Later in the same interview, he mentioned that in the period of 2014-2016, only 24 projects out of 242 proposals were financed by the European Commission.  

Featured photo source: tribuna.md

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National Bank of Moldova governor, Sergiu Cioclea, resigned. This is The World Bank’s reaction

The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) Governor, Sergiu Cioclea, told a press conference on Tuesday, November 20th, that he had submitted a request for resignation to Parliament. Sergiu Cioclea ended his term as of 30 November 2018, the request for resignation being sent to the President of Parliament, Andrian Candu.

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Sergiu Cioclea stated that the objectives he seized with the assumption of the governor position were fulfilled.

“The banking system is now stronger, which has been recognized not only by unprecedented foreign investment but also by IMF, BM and European Commission,” Cioclea said.

He stressed that it is time for someone else “to manage this capital of change and reform further on”.

In this context, Andrian Candu, Parliament Speaker, praised the achievements of the NBM governor, suggesting that the resigning governor, Sergiu Cioclea, will soon take up “another position and position”.

The World Bank representative in the Republic of Moldova says that, during the term of office of Sergiu Cioclea, the NBM has become a more secure and trustworthy institution and thus became recognized internationally.

This is the message posted on the Facebook page of the World Bank representative, thanking Cioclea for constructive and fruitful cooperation:

Yes, it is true that every person has the right to abandon any job. But however, the fact that Cioclea is leaving is raising more and more questions.

Cioclea came to the head of this institution in a period of extreme decline in trust in banks and, in general, in the honesty of state institutions. He says he has managed to re-establish relations with the IMF, set up secure banking control mechanisms and fraud prevention, and develop priorities for the coming years. Naturally, the question: why should the ship be abandoned when the hardest part of the work was done?

More voices speak of a near collapse of Moldova. That’s what it’s at official level. Officially, we are doing better than ever when children receive diapers from the coordinator’s foundation, when mature people get their way from the ruling party, when doctors are taken to the arms of the new Ministry of Health, and the peasants receive bags of vegetables and fruit from deputies.

The last massive devaluation of Moldovan banks took place on the night of the 2014 parliamentary elections. It has been 4 years and the investigations have ended with enormous spending for the budget and the citizens, without bringing the expected outcome: returning the money and punishing the politicals. One of the great expectations of Governor Cioclea was not only explaining the theft and demonstrating the recovery of the stolen money, but also preventing new frauds.

Nevertheless, the bill was neither found, nor recovered, and that the disclosure of any details would be damaging. The only certainty that we had inoculated was that such schemes would no longer be possible. Now, if the one who initiated and led the banking reform is leaving the NBM only 3 months ahead of the elections, is there any guarantee that this reform is irreversible?

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The activist who poured a bucket of milk over the head of Minister of Finance Octavian Armasu, sentenced to one year in prison

Activist Andrei Donica, who, two years ago, poured a bucket of milk over Finance Minister Octavian Armasu, was sentenced to one year in prison with suspension.

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On September 30, 2016, Finance Minister Octavian Armaşu was splashed with milk by a protester (Andrei Donica), right in front of the Government. Andrei Donica accused the official of promoting the “bill of billions by which citizens were reimbursed for state guarantees issued for devalued banks.”

The protester believes that the judge violated his rights because the sentence was delivered to him in his absence, the document having been received by post, after the term of appeal had expired at the Court of Appeal.

“It was a protest action, I did not hit him, I did not call him names.”

TV8 writes that although Donica was recently convicted, the young man does not regret his action, but would do it more ingeniously if he could go back in time.

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