Moldovan justice released the perpetrator of “Milan crime” nine years ahead from his 20-year detention. In November 2007, in Milan, Italy, Moldovan Vasile Coceban, together with his fiancée and five other Moldovans, robbed and killed a doctor.
According to Italian prosecutors, Coceban’s fiancée, who worked as a housekeeper in the doctor’s home, organized the robbery and handed Vasile Coceban the keys to the apartment.
The doctor and his son were at home. After the perpetrators had immobilized the victims, they stole goods estimated at 617,000 euros. Italian media immediately wrote about “three suspects from Eastern Europe who obeyed the Moldovan housekeeper.” After three months of investigations, the Italian police arrested Coceban’s fiancée.
Soon after the murder, Coceban fled Italy and hiding in Moldova, wherefrom, in the absence of bilateral treaties between the two countries, he could not be extradited. Subsequently, the Italian authorities requested a criminal case against him and later a conviction.
The doctor died of mechanical asphyxia
Colturani Marzio, a famous 64-year-old doctor, lived in a luxurious neighborhood. Coceban’s fiancée, Tatiana, worked for two years as a housekeeper in his house. According to Italian prosecutors, the young woman organized the robbery and handed Coceban the keys to the apartment.
On the night of November 12-13, 2007, armed with gloves and masks, they entered Colturani Marzio’s home. The Italian doctor and his son, Luca Colturani, were in the house. While one of the defendants was watching from the block’s stairs, the others attacked the owner and his son, tied their hands and feet. Moreover, to prevent them from shouting, they covered their mouths with adhesive tape. The 64-year-old doctor, who had a heart problem, could not resist the pressure and died of mechanical asphyxia. The morning after the robbery, the Italian media was already writing about “three suspects from Eastern Europe who obeyed the Moldovan housekeeper.”
“Moldova protects Milan doctor’s killer.”
Immediately after the murder, Coceban fled Italy and hid in Moldova. “Moldova protects the murderer of the doctor in Milan,” – wrote the Italian media which starts with 2009, presented Coceban as the leader of the gang and “the main perpetrator of the murder of the Italian doctor.”
The Milan prosecutor’s office has issued a European arrest warrant against Vasile Coceban, but it cannot be applied to countries, such as Moldova, outside the Schengen area. According to “Il Giornale,” the Moldovan authorities sent the Italian Public Prosecutor a file with the wanted man’s photo, but, in the absence of bilateral treaties with Italy for the extradition of persons, Coceban could not be handed over to the Italian authorities. Therefore, the Moldovan authorities sought and obtained the start of a criminal case.
Two years later, in 2009, Vasile Coceban was detained by the Moldovan authorities, and in July 2011, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison. The prosecutors challenged the first-instance judgment to the Court of Appeal (CA) because the sentence was too lenient and requested 25-year imprisonment. The CA magistrates admitted the appeal. After the retrial of the case, in November 2011, Coceban was sentenced to 20 years in a closed prison for complicity in intentional murder committed in the material interest.
The road to freedom
In April 2019, after almost ten years of detention, Coceban took the first step towards his release. He filed in court a complaint against the prison’s administration, regarding the miserable detention conditions, which according to the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, affect the rights of the convict guaranteed by art. 3 of the Convention. In June 2019, his complaint was admitted, and the magistrates decided to reduce the sentence of 20 years by three years.
In March 2020, he went directly to court with a parole request. Although Vasile Coceban was serving a sentence for a crime that the magistrates described as exceptionally serious, on June 30, 2020, by the Chisinau Court’s decision, Coceban was free after he had served only 11 years in prison.
Search for Coceban
According to ZdG sources, while in detention, Vasile Coceban married a young woman and had two children. After his release, he allegedly went to live with them. However, ZdG could not find him and his mother, who claims to know about her son’s release, says she had not seen him since 2009 when he was detained.