• Interim Prosecutor-General asks the Superior Council of Magistracy to start disciplinary proceedings against Judge Gheorghe Balan, in the context of the verdict in the case of former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu

    Interim Prosecutor-General asks the Superior Council of Magistracy to start disciplinary proceedings against Judge Gheorghe Balan, in the context of the verdict in the case of former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu
    by
    14 November 2022 | 15:18

    Acting Prosecutor General Ion Munteanu has referred the case to the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) and requested the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the judge of the Buiucani Court of Chisinau, Gheorghe Balan, in the context of the sentence handed down to former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu, who was fined 1,500 lei and released from the courtroom after assaulting a man in the Botanica sector of the capital in March 2022 and threatening the dog accompanying him with a gun.

    In the complaint signed by the acting prosecutor general, in possession of which Ziarul de Gardă has received, it is stated that the actions of Judge Gheorghe Balan, in adopting the sentence against Șoltoianu, contravene several articles of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. The complaint has been forwarded to the Judicial Inspection of the Superior Council of Magistracy for examination.

    “Judge Gheroghe Balan did not comply with the law (…), thus undermining the authority of the judicial system, diminishing confidence in justice,” the complaint states.

    When asked by Ziarul de Gardă, Judge Gheorghe Balan said that he would come up with a reaction after consulting the complaint filed by the interim prosecutor general.

    At the end of October 2022, the Buiucani court in Chisinau issued the sentence against former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu, who in March assaulted a man in the Botanica sector of the capital and threatened his dog with a gun. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Ion Șoltoianu was fined 1,500 lei for hooliganism and sentenced to imprisonment for illegally keeping a firearm, “but was released from the courtroom in connection with the execution of the sentence”.

    “The Chisinau Court, Buiucani headquarters, issued the sentence against the criminal authority, a former sportsman, charged with aggravated hooliganism and carrying a firearm, including ammunition, without authorization.

    According to the court act, the defendant’s act of hooliganism was assessed as a misdemeanor, with a fine of 1 500 lei. As for the illegal keeping of the firearm, he was sentenced to imprisonment, but was released from the courtroom in connection with the execution of the sentence,” the PG announced.

    For illegally keeping the firearm, the court sentenced Ion Șoltoianu to “one year, three months and seven days’ imprisonment, to be served in a semi-closed prison”. The sentence was reduced to 232 days, calculated from the time of arrest, 13 March 2022, until 30 October 2022. Thus, Șoltoianu was released and his pre-trial detention was cancelled.

    Judge Gheorghe Balan presided over the hearing in which Ion Șoltoianu was sentenced.

    Prosecutors from the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organised Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS) requested a 10-year prison sentence for former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu. Thus, the prosecutor in the case “considers this sentence unfounded and will appeal it to the Chisinau Court of Appeal,” the PG had previously announced.

    In March this year, former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu physically assaulted a man in the Botanica sector of the capital and threatened the dog accompanying him with a gun. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the incident took place in the courtyard of a block of flats. At the time, the accused, who is over 50 years old, was disturbed by the presence of the dog and, after an exchange of words, drew his gun and pointed it at the pet.

    At the same time, PCCOCS prosecutors together with officers of the National Investigation Inspectorate are continuing the criminal prosecution against him for blackmailing businessmen to return invented debts in the amounts of 150,000 euros, 11 million lei and 200,000 euros. According to the law, until a final court ruling is handed down, he is presumed innocent.

    ZdG has previously written about Șoltoianu’s criminal past.

    In 2013, former sportsman Ion Șoltoianu was sentenced to 12 years in prison for murder, illegal possession of weapons and extortion. The court found that in 2011, while on the terrace of a restaurant in central Chisinau, Șoltoianu shot dead former policeman and businessman Ion Stratulat. The sportsman immediately fled the scene of the crime.

    He was released in 2019 after obtaining a court ruling that the “inhuman and degrading conditions” in which he was detained were compensated by reducing his sentence.

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