The Decision of the Chișinău Court of Appeal in the case of Iacob Gumeniță

The Decision of the Chișinău Court of Appeal in the case of Iacob Gumeniță
18 July 2020 | 14:17

On July 15, Chișinău Court of Appeal upheld the acquittal verdict, applied by the first hierarchical court three and a half years ago in the case of Iacob Gumeniță, a former policeman in Chișinău tried for abuse of office during the April 7 events in Moldova. The decision of the Chișinău Court of Appeal insulted the memory of Valeriu Boboc, the young man beaten to death by police on the night of April 7 to 8, 2009. It also insulted the aspirations of hundreds of other young protesters who came out in the center of Chișinău, advocating for freedom. 

The court’s decision put an end to a long line of cases in which former heads of the national police were accused of torture and exceeding their authority during the April 2009 protests against the Communist Party Government.

Former employees from the Ministry of Internal Affairs were also acquitted. On July 15, 2020, 11 years after the April 2009 protests, Iacob Gumeniță is also acquitted.

Of the numerous persons investigated over the past 11 years, some have got on friendly terms with the authorities and live their lives comfortably. Petru Corduneanu, former head of the Public Order Directorate within the Ministry of Internal Affairs is now deputy on the lists of the Socialist Party. 

He was investigated in a criminal case, being accused of applying force against the then deputy Valentina Cuşnir. For years, the victim of violence tried to find justice in court, demanding the conviction of the perpetrators, but to no avail. 

on January 19, 2015, the Chișinău Court of Appeal sentenced Gheorghe Papuc, former Minister of Internal Affairs, to four years in prison with execution in the April 7 case, for negligence in office, resulting in Valeriu Boboc’s death, and for exceeding his authority, resulting in serious consequences. However, he was allowed to leave the courtroom and was later announced in search.

For half a year, state institutions pretended to be looking for the general. He returned immediately after June 30, 2015, when the Supreme Court of Justice issued a decision by which Gheorghe Papuc’s prison sentence was changed to a criminal fine for 20,000 lei. Scornfully, the general said then that he did not flee anywhere, that he did not hide from justice, but stayed at home, waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court (this is for us to understand how they searched him). He also said that if April 2009 events repeated, he would act in the same manner.

Papuc’s case can become an example for someone who wants to study how the judiciary can protect ordinary criminals. 

Ion Perju was the only one sentenced to prison in the case of Valeriu Boboc’s death. And he fled as soon as he heard his sentence. He is now free, and after the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Iacob Gumeniță, his former boss, he may hope for a trouble-free future.

Dragoș, Valeriu Boboc’s son, turned 11 years old. A few more years will pass and he, as a mature man, could ask for justice for his father. Whom should he address? 

On April 7, 2009, in the Great National Assembly Square, young people were protesting the Communist Party victory in the parliamentary elections. Thousands of young demonstrators have been clashing with police and ransacking government buildings to protest the election results. Iacob Gumeniță, a former policeman who worked in a Chișinău police station during the April 2009 events, is tried for exceeding his authority and malfeasance in office. Eleven years after the April 2009 events, Gumeniță’s case is still pending in the Chișinău Court of Appeal.

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