In November 2019, prosecutors searched the home, office, and car of the former Supreme Court of Justice judge, Oleg Sternioală. Following the search, several documents were seized. However, the state prosecutors have not yet managed to examine them, or the searches have not yet been legalized by the investigating judge.
The prosecutors are trying to obtain legalization of searches in the case in which the former judge is accused of money laundering and illicit enrichment. In the meantime, Oleg Sternioală is free after the court rejected the Prosecutor’s Office’s application for pre-trial detention.
According to the representatives of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, on November 4, 2019, prosecutor Roman Statnîi carried out three searches in the case that concerns the former judge of the Supreme Court of Justice. The prosecutor searched the former judge’s house, car and office.
On November 5, 2019, the prosecutor filed a lawsuit to legalize the searches. So far, none of the three searches have been legalized.
The searches may be carried out without the permission of the investigating judge in urgent cases. Subsequently, the searches may be carried out based on a reasoned order of the prosecutor, and within 24 hours from their completion, it is necessary to submit the legalization of the action. Following this procedure, the investigating judge verifies the reasons invoked by the prosecutor and the legality of the search.
The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office representatives informed us that the Ciocana district Court is examining the legalization procedure of the search of Sternioală’s home. However, the confirmation of the legality of the searches from the office and the car were rejected. The prosecutors appealed against the rejection to the Court of Appeal.
“In the absence of a confirmation of the legality of the search, the examination of the seized objects and documents cannot take place. The trade products expertise of movable and immovable property is ongoing and also a request for a rogatory commission in Romania. The former magistrate has the status of accused on both charges starting with January 30, 2020,” specify the representatives of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office.
ZdG appealed for a reaction to the former judge’s lawyers. One of the lawyers told us to come back later with a call, but he didn’t answer later. The second lawyer did not answer ZdG’s calls either. Earlier, Sternioala’s lawyers said that the search from November 4 was unauthorized.
Roman Statnîi, the prosecutor who had managed the criminal case in which the former judge Oleg Sternioală is targeted resigned in January 2020.
On November 4,2019, Oleg Sternioală a judge at the Supreme Court of Justice was detained. The prosecutors charged him with large-scale money laundering. Later on, the former judge was released from custody and investigated at large.
The prosecutors determined that the judge together with his family has reported legal incomes of about 368,000 euros (7.08 million lei). During the same period, Oleg Sternioală and his family acquired luxury goods amounting to over 717,000 euros (13.8 million lei).
There is a difference of about 349,000 euros (6.7 million lei) between the suspect’s income and expenses. The prosecutors suspected that the difference was illicit goods, which were hidden and their nature and origin is disguised by moving the property right to third parties.
Subsequently, Oleg Sternioală filed for resignation from the position of judge. The Parliament approved the draft decisions on the dismissal of Oleg Sternioală in the plenary session of December 19, 2019.