How can the conflict between the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the national Anti-Corruption Centre be resolved?
The “all-out war” between the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA) and the National Anti-Corruption Centre (NAC) became known after several serious accusations by Veronica Dragalin, head of the PA, against the NAC, that it had become an institution that would protect corruption rather than fight it, became public. President Maia Sandu said that the public conflict between the PA and the CNA is not good for the fight against corruption and that the authorities are looking for a solution to settle the conflict between the two institutions. PAS does not rule out the creation of a new anti-corruption institution, like the Romanian DNA.
How can the conflict between the PA and the NAC be resolved?
Violeta Gașițoi, lawyer
The conflict between the PA and the CNA is as regrettable as it is dangerous from several points of view. We have to understand that in these institutions and not only here, but in the whole justice system, there are still people who were docile to the former governments, they have not gone anywhere, many of them have infiltrated and have been appointed even in high positions, and when the prosecution had the intention to clean itself first from the inside, this should have been done through legal methods and by not disclosing the actions that the head of the prosecution wants to undertake. The authorities need to examine whether the purpose of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in displaying this threatening behaviour, both in the meeting with prosecutors and NAC officers and by recording her own video with a message to those accused of corruption, is legal and whether the methods were chosen correctly. In my view, the name of the institution makes absolutely no difference, whether it is DNA, NAC or PA, because it changes nothing, as decisions are made by people. Hence, the proposal for organisational reform of the prosecution service and the NAC will not yield any results, but will lead to unjustified expenditure from the state budget and to the procrastination of real reforms. Moldova has good laws, including in the fight against corruption, the problem is that a good law in a corrupt hand is compromised. It all depends on how we choose who to apply these laws in practice.
Dinu Plîngău, President of the PPDA Party
How? Dissolve both institutions and create a new one based on the DNA model… The concept can be found in the electoral programmes of the DA Platform, but also of PAS. It is a complex issue, it requires the amendment and adoption of several normative acts, the delimitation and establishment of competences: it will be a separate institution from the PG or a special one under the PG. I would advocate that it should be subordinate, at the same time to go further, to give magistrate status to prosecutors, and to limit the powers of the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG)… The selection of staff will be the most important test, we need real competitions and not mimed, including that this new function does not pass as a legacy for Iulian Rusu or Dragalin. That’s as short as it gets, if there will be a political openness from PAS for the concept, I’m open to participate also in the elaboration of the mechanism, acts etc.
Ilie Chirtoaca, Executive Director, Legal Resources Centre from Moldova
How can the conflict be resolved? In April 2023, the Moldovan Parliament again amended the powers of the AP and the NAC. According to the amendments, systemic (repetitive) corruption and corruption committed by mayors of municipalities, heads of public institutions, lawyers, etc. will be investigated by the NAC. Anti-corruption prosecutors, on the other hand, will only investigate cases against the country’s president, deputies, ministers, judges, prosecutors and the SIS leadership. In essence, the new provisions have (once again) strengthened the role of the NAC, to the detriment of the PA, and have insignificantly reduced the workload of anti-corruption prosecutors. It is not the first time that the intentions to amend the law aimed at fortifying the PA end up in the final reading to fortify… the NAC. The resolution of the conflict between two institutions (if it does not take place amicably) must lie in a new amendment to the law that ensures that anti-corruption powers are assigned to a single institution that is empowered with all the necessary anti-corruption tools – one conductor and one orchestra.