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There are figures of the Kroll report and a witness of the prosecution in Filat’s file on the Shor Party list

Some names on the Electoral Electoral List also appear in the report of the British Company Kroll, hired by the Government to investigate the “theft of the century.” Marina Tauber and Reghina Apostolova, for example, were operating in Unibank, one of the bankrupt banks after the fraud happened, and have probably taken loans using the accounts of some banks in Latvia. Both say they have returned the money and have done nothing illegal. Moreover, one of the candidates, Maria Albot, handled the transfer to the accounts of Vlad Filat’s close friends. That is a sum of money that Ilan Shor said that has been extorted by the former prime minister Filat, and later was the witness of the prosecution that file. These are some facts documented by “Civic Initiative reporters for a Clean Parliament” on the candidates of the Shor Party. Full profiles can be read on Moldovacurata.md.

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The head of the party’s list, Ilan Shor, applied for a deputy mandate, even if he has an executive sentence of seven and a half years in one of the two criminal cases opened in his name in connection with fraud in the banking system. This case file was launched on June 22, 2016 for scam in large proportions and money laundering. Subsequently, the court recalculated the act of “causing damage through deception or abuse of trust in particularly great proportions, if the deed is not an appropriation” and money laundering in particularly large proportions. The sentence was challenged by Ilan Shor’s lawyers, and the file is now being examined by the Cahul Court of Appeal. Shor has another criminal case, opened earlier, on May 6, 2015, for serious abuse of office, as chairman of the Bank of Savings Bank Administration (BEM). This file has not yet been finalized by prosecutors.

The most important damage that the State Budget have possibly brought was the accusations of prosecutors in the case of bankruptcy of BEM, the Social Bank and Unibank. To cover the hole formed by the three banks as a result of granting fraudulent loans, the National Bank of Moldova granted state guarantees amounting to 13.34 billion lei, later transformed into state debts. Prosecutors accuse Shore of having stolen about 5 billion lei from the three banks. However, the Chisinau judiciary has established that there is only evidence for evasion worth 2.7 billion lei.

British company Kroll, contracted by the Government to conduct an audit of the bank fraud case, found that the loans offered by the three banks to companies in the so-called Shor group reached the figure of 2.9 billion dollars granted during the period 2012 – 2014. The lending offered has possibly been hidden as corporate loans, being washed through a high-level coordinated process through several bank accounts in Latvia.

Read the profiles of candidates in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova here.

Justice

Members of the ‘ACUM’ opposition bloc have sent an address to the National Bank of Moldova on the theft of the bill

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Four deputies from the ‘ACUM’ opposition bloc sent an address to the NBM on the theft of the bill. Lawmakers asked how much money they paid for the two Kroll reports, but they also asked for copies of documents. Furthermore, they asked for details about the case of Ilan Shor vs Kroll, given that the former mayor of Orhei previously declared that he would sue the company.

Photo: Ilan Shor

In addition, MEPs have called for the amounts of remuneration derived from the two contracts for Kroll to be announced and the exact dates at which the Kroll payments and the amounts paid were made. The copy certified by the leadership of the National Bank of Moldova of the Kroll 1 report as well as the Kroll 2 report.

“Taking into account that Ilan Shor sued Kroll in court in the UK, we ask you to inform us if the British authorities and/or institutions have requested information from the NBM about the Ilan Shor vs the Kroll case,” the address says.

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Justice

Another break in the Ilan Shor’s file. But what is the reason for postponing the court hearing at the Cahul Court of Appeal?

For half a year in Ilan Shor’s criminal file had no productive session at the Court of Appeal Cahul. All of the meetings were postponed because the expertise required by lawyers was not completed. However, this didn’t seem to be in his way of becoming a deputy, writes ZdG.

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Detained in May 2015, Ilan Shor was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment for scam and money laundering (in 2017), but the court ordered the punishment to be validated only after it became final.

Although the Shor file has been for a year on the magistrates’ bench at the Cahul Court of Appeal, most court hearings in this file were postponed after lawyers of the mayor of Orhei asked for financial-accounting expertise. Neither lawyers nor prosecutors provide much detail about the essence of this expertise.

The last session of the Shor’s file was postponed on February 20th, and a new hearing would be held today. But this was postponed, this time because judges are not available. Thus, Ilan Shor will appear before the judges only on May 20, when the new meeting was scheduled.

Source: ZdG

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Justice

Why the citizens of the Republic of Moldova are not protected by the rule of law or the moment when the equal justice crushed

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The rule of law offers protection for citizens. It prevents the authority to use their power arbitrarily and provides protection for the citizens. We are all equal before the law. This is what all law books usually teach us. But are citizens really protected by the rule of law when the justice is in the hands of a very small group of people?

People of Moldova don’t trust the Moldovan justice. An opinion poll conducted by USAID in 2018 showed that only 16% of population trust the justice of the Republic of Moldova, whereas 19% of people trust the Moldovan judges, 20% trust prosecutors, 33% trust lawyers and 28% of the population consider that they can count on policemen.

The authors of the study showed that the perception of corruption is even greater in the case of those who have had to deal with the judiciary system. More than half of the respondents think that an average citizen gets behind bars faster than the one who has money.

Moldovan lawyers who work in the judicial system and have an inside information consider it relatively corrupt and unfair as well. More than 60% of Moldovan lawyers believe that the justice sector is still corrupt, and 19% believe corruption is widespread even at the level of the leadership of the institutions, according to a survey conducted in 2019 at the request of the Centre for Legal Resources in Moldova cited by Ziarul de Gardă.

“When people see resonant cases where the violation of the basic human rights happened, such as the right of examining cases in a public trial, obviously they think: they do this in the case of people who held positions, but what would happen in my case if I get to court?” declared the expert of the Centre for Legal Resources in Moldova,  Nadejda Hriptievschi, for RFE/RL.

Well, it seems that today, being a state official in the Republic of Moldova and making some inconvenient statements about the government puts you in great danger. Some experts call it a beginning of dictatorship, others an oligarchy in its most pervert form. No matter what it is called. Its consequences are important.

Recently, the former employee of the National Post Service, Sergiu Cebotari, made an in-court testimony regarding the schemes from 2016 of trafficking anabolic steroids through the postal service of the country. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in a semi-open regime penitentiary and had to pay damages of 299 thousand lei, in a criminal case for embezzling foreign property and using forced labour. Sergiu Cebotari left the country before being sentenced, being declared politically persecuted, according to the statements of the leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party (DTPP), Andrei Năstase. The accused didn’t confess and claimed that the file was politically charged.

A similar recent case was registered for a former border policeman, the DTPP activist and a former parliamentary candidate, Gheorghe Petic, who was sentenced to three years and six months in a semi-opened regime prison and had to pay a fine of 30,000 lei in a criminal case for rape and domestic violence. The hearings were held behind the close doors and the victim filed testimony in court in the absence of Petic. The accused had no opportunity to ask questions, as his lawyer, Angela Istrate, declared.

Gheorghe Petic believes that the criminal prosecution on his name is caused by his statements on cigarette smuggling schemes, involving the leadership of the Border Police of Moldova and of Romania. “After I disclosed the smuggling schemes, my family and I started to be intimidated. I was called an FSB agent, a smuggler, I was attacked at a parking lot in Ungheni, accused of harassing my so-called students whom I didn’t even know,” declared Petic cited by Newsmaker.

He also announced that his e-mail and his Facebook page had been broken and that a post was published from his name stating that he supported the DTPP only for financial rewards.

In the meantime, a new hearing will be held in another file addressing Gheorghe Petic, as Ziarul de Gardă reported. This time, Petic is being investigated for hooliganism. According to Petic’s lawyer, the case was recently opened on the basis of an event that occurred in 2003.

“They have found dubious people who do not even remember how the events happened. They made false statements. It’s an absurd accusation without any evidence, based only on statements of some dubious people who are not sure in what year the incident took place and how it happened. In the absence of conclusive evidence, I am guilty of committing an act of hooliganism in 2004, when it was actually in 2003. But because the limitation period was over, they decided to change and open the file in 2004,” Gheorghe Petic previously declared.

In February 2019, Ziarul de Gardă wrote about differentiated approaches in the cases of Gheorghe Petic and Ilan Șor, both of them being election candidates and both of them being investigated in criminal cases. The difference is that in case of Gheorghe Petic the court decided not to release Gheorghe Petic from arrest, even though he was a registered candidate on the lists of the political bloc ACUM at the parliamentary elections in 2019.

In the case of Ilan Șor, four years ago, the court decided to release him from home arrest, so as not to hinder his right to candidate for mayor of Orhei. Ilan Şor was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, but because the sentence is not final, the politician is still free.

“During the electoral period, the candidates can’t be dismissed or transferred to another job or position without their consent and can’t be found criminally liable, arrested, detained and can’t be a subject to administrative sanctions without the consent of the electoral body that registered them, with except for flagrant offenses,” says the Electoral Code of the Republic of Moldova.

There are a lot of questions raised regarding the reasons why the Kroll 2 report was not published yet and why the list of people involved in the Great Moldovan Bank Robbery ended when Veaceslav Palton and Vladimir Filat were imprisoned.

“The Kroll 2 report is kept secret and nobody has access to it, as if it were the atom bombs launch codes. Only few names are kept so well and so much in our country. Usually, all secrets are revealed much faster. It’s the name of Vlad Plahotniuc that could be so fiercely protected. The government has only one method to prove the opposite – to publish the Kroll 2 report,” Dumitru Alaiba, the member of the political bloc ACUM, wrote in a Facebook post.

According to the World Justice Project (WJP) Report for 2019, the Republic of Moldova is comparable to China and Vietnam when it comes to the Rule of Law Index, calculated based on 8 factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

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