INVESTIGATION: A General’s Uniform Adorned with Gold Thread – the Reason for a Lawsuit

INVESTIGATION: A General’s Uniform Adorned with Gold Thread – the Reason for a Lawsuit
24 May 2021 | 06:18

Iaroslav Martin, who served as director of the State Protection and Guard Service until December 30, 2020, filed a lawsuit against the institution he led. Martin asks for a refund of the money that the institution withheld from him upon his dismissal for the special equipment received between 2019-2020, including the general’s uniform, adorned with gold thread.

In March 2020, the former President of Moldova Igor Dodon promoted the director of the State Protection and Guard Service Iaroslav Martin to the rank of major general. Later, Martin ordered his general’s suit, which was adorned with gilded thread. A similar uniform, sewn with gilded thread, was made by Petru Corduneanu, the former deputy director of SPGS and currently the deputy head of the General Inspectorate of the Border Police.

Iaroslav Martin and Petru Corduneanu became SPGS generals in June 2020 by decree of former President Igor Dodon.

A general’s uniform adorned with gold thread

The State Protection and Guard Service (SPGS) ordered and paid for both general uniforms. ZdG came into possession of several invoices showing the amounts paid by the institution for the uniforms, 400 euros for the two suits destined for the “top officials” Martin and Corduneanu. More expensive, however, was the gold thread used to transform the two simple suits into general uniforms. For this purpose, 200 grams of gilded yarn (5% gold) were used, which were transferred from the balance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the balance of SPGS and whose cost, according to the invoice, was 550 euros.

When Iaroslav Martin was relieved of his post as director of SPGS, the institution withdrew 1,900 euros from his salary and allowances for the clothes he decided to keep for himself. Iaroslav Martin sent a prior request to SPGS, expressing his disagreement with money withdrawal and requesting the refund of the sum within 10 days. In the previous request, Martin mentioned that, if the institution does not return the money, he will go to court with a civil action.

“I request the refund of 1,900 euros, deducted from the allowance as the outstanding value of the uniform within 10 days. Otherwise, I will have to go to court with a civil action in which, in addition to the refund of the amount withheld, I will request the delay penalties and court costs incurred,” runs the request sent by Martin to SPGS on March 13, 2021.

The former director files a lawsuit against the State Protection and Guard Service

As the SPGS did not satisfy his request, Martin filed a lawsuit against the institution he had run. In the summons sent to the Chișinău Court, Center headquarters, Iaroslav Martin demands to recover from the SPGS account over 3,300 euros, including the 1,900 euros retained by SPGS for the uniforms.

“Hereby, Martin Iaroslav respectfully requests the following: To have SPGS pay Iaroslav Martin 1,900 euros as dismissal compensation debt. To have SPGS pay Iaroslav Martin 1,000 euros as a legal penalty. To have SPGS pay Iaroslav Martin 100 euros as overdue interest. To have SPGS pay Iaroslav Martin 300 euros as legal assistance expenses of the court costs of the case,” the request for summons runs.

The document obtained and consulted by ZdG details the amounts retained by SPGS from Iaroslav Martin for incomplete use of special equipment. The most expensive pieces of clothing that Martin kept after he was fired, and for which SPGS withheld certain sums of money, are a leather coat and a leather jacket. They were purchased in October 2020 and cost a total of  1,800 euros.

The trial between Iaroslav Martin and SPGS is pending at the Chișinău Court, Center headquarters, the next hearing being scheduled for May 27, 2021.

Former SPGS director: “They acted wrongly and the courts will decide who is right.”

Contacted by ZdG, Iaroslav Martin described as “illegal” the actions taken by the current SPGS leadership: “I sued the institution because everything that is being done at the moment is illegitimate. The current leadership has acted wrongly and the courts will decide who is right in this case,” says Martin. He declined, however, to comment on the gilded thread used to adorn his uniform. “I wish you success and goodbye,” Iaroslav Martin told us and ended the telephone conversation.

Iaroslav Martin in his general uniform adorned with gilded threads.

In response to a request for information from ZdG, SPGS representatives claim that Martin’s lawsuit is an “attack on the Service” after the denunciation of the offenses committed during the period when he ran the institution. “Following the finding and denunciation of the offenses admitted by Iaroslav Martin as director, he began to constantly attack the State Protection and Guard Service, submitting a preliminary request to the Service on February 10, 2021. Subsequently, continuing the attack on the Service, on March 26, 2021, he filed a lawsuit against the Service demanding it to return 1,900 euros (which was legally withheld for the remaining value of the uniforms sewn to order, to fit his size), to which the legal penalty, the overdue interest and court costs in the amount of over 1,400 euros was added. We consider that the request is not legal. Moreover, Iaroslav Martin also withheld and collected from his predecessor the amount for the remaining cost of the uniform,” the SPGS said in a response signed by deputy director Vasile Popa.

”Any officer pays this difference when he resigns. It’s a common practice.”

Anatolie Golea, Iaroslav Martin’s predecessor in charge of the State Protection and Guard Service.

Anatolie Golea, Iaroslav Martin’s predecessor at the head of SPGS, confirms that his remaining amount was also withheld for the incomplete use of the special equipment, and he considers it a common practice.

“Every employed officer receives a uniform. According to the legislation, the uniform has a certain term of wear. Let’s say it was offered for a year, if you resign earlier, then you have to pay the difference in wear. This does not only apply to the management of the Service, it applies to any officer. Thus, any officer pays this difference when he resigns. It is a common practice,” said Golea.

Iaroslav Martin became director of SPSG on June 25, 2019, following a decree signed by the former President, Igor Dodon. Subsequently, on March 11, 2020, Dodon conferred on Iaroslav Martin, as well as on Petru Corduneanu, the special rank of Major General of the SPGS. On December 30, 2020, President, Maia Sandu, signed the decree by which Iaroslav Martin was relieved of his post as head of the SPGS.

AUTHOR MAIL

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