Businessmen Who Denounced Prosecutors and Policemen for a Bribe of over 75,000 Euros Are Prosecuted Again
In March 2020, the Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo signed an ordinance to reopen the criminal case for tax evasion in which three targeted businessmen denounced prosecutors Roman Clim and Evgheni Tifoi for bribery of over 75,000 euros (1.5 million lei).
The case was filed in 2019. Anatolie Brașoveanu, one of the businessmen targeted in the case, states that he did not know that criminal investigation was resumed. Four months after the Prosecutor General issued the act, representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office did not inform Brașoveanu, although the ordinance stated that “interested persons” must be informed.
The General Prosecutor’s Office confirms that the criminal investigation on that case has been resumed and informs that the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office requested information from the State Fiscal Service about the damage caused to the state budget. Brașoveanu claims that the State Fiscal Service already provided the information after they verified the activity of Radeva-Grup and did not identify any violations.
On March 5, 2020, Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo issued an ordinance, canceling the ordinance issued by prosecutor Eugen Manolache from the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office, on April 17, 2019, stating that it has fundamental defects.
The Ordinance of the Prosecutor General Issued in March
The ordinance issued by the Prosecutor General removed from criminal prosecution the businessmen Anatolie and Oleg Brașoveanu, and Vitalii Todoroglo, who are managers of the company Radeva-Grup. The three businessmen were targeted in a tax evasion case.
April 5, 2020, was set as the deadline for the criminal investigation, and the Prosecutor General ordered to inform the interested persons on the adopted decision.
“The respective criminal case is under the management of the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office, which requested information from the State Fiscal Service regarding the damage caused to the budget. Currently, other criminal prosecution actions are carried out that will allow adopting a legal solution, once the opinion of the ascertaining agents arrives,” stated the General Prosecutor’s Office, confirming that the criminal investigation on that case was resumed.
Anatolie Brașoveanu, one of the three businessmen targeted in the case, states that he did not know that the criminal investigation was resumed because neither the representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office nor those from the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office informed him about it. Although the ordinance stated that interested persons must be informed about the case, four months after the Prosecutor General issued the act, he still knew nothing about it.
Four Months Have Passed Since the Resumption of the Criminal Investigation, but the Prosecutors Did Not Inform the Parties to the Case About the Investigation
“I was not informed officially. I have received no notification, neither at home nor at work. I’m not surprised any more. I never got any citation during this period, neither I nor anyone from the company. The State Fiscal Service issued reports twice before. There was a check, then a judicial-accounting check and many more checks were made during that period. There was an expert who carried out expertise. No irregularities were identified. That’s why the case was dropped. During this period, nobody contacted me either to inform or ask questions on this case,” says Brașoveanu.
“I would not be surprised if the prosecutors whom I denounced were reinstated in their positions and promoted,” the businessman said.
Oleg Afanasii, the interim head of the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office, told ZdG that the parties to the case were not informed because when the case reached the Chișinău Prosecutor’s Office, “the case prosecutor thought the parties had already been informed by representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office, as the case came to us from there with the whole package of documents. Now the criminal investigation is underway,” confirms Afanasii.
The History of a Bribe of Over 75,000 Euros that Generated other Cases
ZdG wrote in May 2020 about this case that it has been running since 2018 when it was made public. In May, when ZdG published several documents from the case of the over 75,000 euros (1.5 million lei) bribe attributed to two prosecutors and three policemen. No person involved in the case informed us that the criminal investigation was resumed.
According to the materials in the case, it is possible that Ruslan Popov, who is one of the deputy prosecutors general, is involved in the case.
In a statement for ZdG that “he has nothing to do with the situation investigated regarding the two prosecutors. I did not know of any illegal activities carried out by them,” said the deputy general prosecutor.
However, after the change of the leadership of the General Prosecutor’s Office, directly after Ruslan Popov was promoted as a deputy prosecutor general, the investigation, in the criminal case initiated in 2017, took a new turn.
The prosecutor who investigated the criminal case was ordered to leave the system. In March 2020, a disciplinary procedure was initiated on his behalf because he allegedly forced the parties to the case to plead guilty and file “false allegations and statements regarding other employees with higher hierarchical status within the Prosecutor’s Office.”
At the same time, one of the police officers in the case who admitted his guilt, and was convicted in February 2019, without contesting the sentence, submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office a request for a review of the sentence, stating that he was forced to -recognize his guilt.
In 2019, during the examination of the criminal case in court, the policeman agreed to return the money he admitted to having obtained through crime. In addition to the disciplinary procedure, a criminal case was opened against these facts described by the police officer.
Throughout this process, Brașoveanu, the businessman who denounced prosecutors and police officers for asking bribes from his family in 2018, is still looking for answers and hopes that the Prosecutor General will get involved in the case and explain to Brașoveanu what happened to the case, who took the money and whom this money reached. After the article was published, the Prosecutor General had not yet invited the businessman to the hearing.