The Bălți Court of Appeal Issued the Irrevocable Decision, Granting the Pimp Shalun an Early Release from Prison

The Bălți Court of Appeal Issued the Irrevocable Decision, Granting the Pimp Shalun an Early Release from Prison
20 August 2020 | 10:03

Alexandru Covali, alias Shalun was granted an early release from prison in the case in which he was sentenced to 19 years in prison on five charges, including child trafficking, human trafficking, and pimping. 

On July 13, the Criminal College of the Bălți Court of Appeal maintained in force the conclusion of the Edineț court, Briceni headquarters, of January 28, 2020, by which Covali was released five years and five months earlier, after executing only 13 years and seven months out of the 19 years the courts sentenced him to. The decision of the Bălți Court of Appeal is irrevocable.

In 2006-2011, Covali was detained and prosecuted for several crimes, including child trafficking. According to a press release issued by the General Prosecutor’s Office, Covali created a criminal organization operating on the territory of Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, supervising a wide network of human trafficking, child trafficking, and pimping, during the years 2001-2006. 

In 2006, Alexandru Covali, alias Shalun, was detained. Prosecutors asked for 28 years in prison, but the Chișinău Court of Appeal sentenced him only to 21 years. 

The judges of the Supreme Court of Justice were even more lenient and reduced his sentence to 19 years in prison. However, he served 13 years and seven months. On January 28, 2020, Alexandru Covali was released on parole. His sentence was reduced by more than five years, because of the bad conditions of detention in Penitentiary No. 13, as well as due to his exemplary behavior in Penitentiary No. 2 from Lipcani, where he was detained the last years.

Besides Șalun, other members of his group were released from prison ahead of time. Covali’s family told us that after he was released from prison Covali left the country. Covali didn’t show up at the meetings of the Bălți Board of Directors. In the meantime, the Bălți Board of Directors rejected the appeal of the Penitentiary No. 2 Lipcani, thus definitively relieving Covali of his sentence.

Alexandru Covali, alias Shalun. A photo posted on his Facebook account in December 2018, when he was still in detention.

In April, this year, ZdG published the history of the conviction and early release of several members of the Shalun group, including the leader Alexandru Covali.

At the same time, we published the testimonies of one of the victims of the group – a young woman who was abducted and sexually exploited from the age of 14. 

“I was shocked to learn that he had been released. What do inhumane conditions mean? But did we stay with him in normal conditions? It seemed to him that if he sat there locked up with food and everything, it was inhumane, right? But didn’t those people, who let him out, think that this man destroyed the lives of thousands of women and thousands of girls,” asked Shalun’s victim while discussing with ZdG reporters.

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