Former Head of the Intelligence and Security Service, Sentenced to a Symbolic Fine in the Case of Turkish Teachers’ Illegal Deportation
General Prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo stated that on Tuesday, September 8, at the TV8 Politica show, the former intelligence chief received a suspended sentence and fines for the case investigation of a group of teachers to Turkey in 2018. The authorities kept the verdict secret for a month and only revealed after the media exerted pressure.
However, the former director of the Intelligence and Security Service (SIS), Vasile Botnari, the only figure in the case regarding the expulsion of the seven Turkish teachers from Orizont High School Chișinău, did not get a suspension, as the authorities announced, but received a fine of about €4,500 which he has already paid.
According to some ZdG sources, although initially, General Attorney Alexandr Stoianoglo requested a prison sentence, later, the prosecutor did not contest the court sentence of the former head of SIS, which provided only for the payment.
Simultaneously, the sources do not specify that Vasile Botnari allegedly paid the damages caused in the case, previously paid by the state to the seven families, according to the ECtHR decision, amounting to €125,000. The information about the fact that Botnari would have paid the damages in the case was also made public by the general prosecutor on the TV8 “Politica” show.
“I asked the court today for permission to make public at least the summary of the decision. Botnari received a sentence a month ago,” said Alexandr Stoianoglo on Tuesday night.
Earlier this week, Stockholm Center for Freedom mentioned in a report, according to Moldova’s criminal code, a judge can suspend the imposition of a sentence, which means they have declined to punish Botnari. If the defendant violates the suspension condition, a judge can review the case and decide whether to revoke the break and, if canceled, what sentence to impose. However, Vasile Botnari did not get a prison sentence with suspension, as announced on September 8, by the General Prosecutor.
Botnari will pay a further €19,000 for the charter flight used to deport the seven teachers to Turkey.
In June 2019 the ECtHR ruled that Moldova had violated the seven teachers’ rights by deporting them back to Turkey, where they faced arrest.
Seven Turkish citizens, teachers at Orizont High School in Chisinau and Ceadir-Lunga district (southern Moldova), were expelled on September 6, 2018, from Moldova. The state authorities detained the teachers while they were leaving the house to go to work.