OPINION: Experts and Lawyers on the Detention of the Suspended Prosecutor General

OPINION: Experts and Lawyers on the Detention of the Suspended Prosecutor General
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11 October 2021 | 13:18

The searches were carried out on Tuesday, October 5, at the General Prosecutor’s Office which led to the suspension from the office of Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo and his detention for 72 hours followed by a wave of reactions in the public space.

ZdG spoke with experts, lawyers, and lawyers, who commented on the detention of the suspended general prosecutor.

The founder and director of the Justice and Human Rights Program at the Center for Legal Resources of Moldova, Nadejda Hriptievschi, told Ziarul de Gardă that anti-corruption prosecutor Victor Furtuna should come up with public explanations about the detention of the suspended prosecutor general, Alexandr Stoianoglo, and to present well-founded reasons for initiating criminal proceedings and enforcing the detention measure.

The lawyer also mentioned that “she hopes that the anti-corruption prosecutors will not make a show of this and that they do have evidence that supports the decisions they have made.”

Nadejda Hriptievschi

“I cannot comment on the legality of the detention of the general prosecutor because I do not know the details. My biggest question is how was it possible for the case prosecutor to make the decision on whether to start the criminal investigation and the detention so quickly, but given the work of Mr. Stoianoglo and the fact that quite a few resonance files did not have an end or were closed, I hope the case prosecutor had very good reasons and that is why he intervened so quickly with the detention because the detention is mainly necessary to prevent – either the flight of the person – or the destruction of evidence. I suspect and I think that if they ask for the arrest, they must come with public explanations. Of course, they don’t have to publish everything because it’s the secret of the criminal investigation, but they have to come up with some evidence because it’s an extraordinary case, it’s something that concerns us a lot. I hope they will not make a show of it, and that they do have evidence that supports the decisions they have made. This speed raises many questions, but also the position of Mr. Stoianoglo, we must understand that he is at the head of the Prosecutor’s Office and has the opportunity to influence the progress of the case, so it may be very justified. I would not conclude that the arrest is so quick, I count on the fact that both the case prosecutor and the others involved in his team realize that it is so important – it will be a huge test for justice and I hope they document it very well and do not make any abuses,” said Nadejda Hriptievschi.

Promo-LEX lawyer Vadim Vieru informed us that the decision of the anti-corruption prosecutor who ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings against General Prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo was taken in a hurry, and Stoianoglo’s detention was not necessary. According to the lawyer Promo-LEX, “in a state governed by the rule of law, the case prosecutor does not decide to initiate criminal proceedings in one hour and a half.”

Vadim Vieru, Promo-LEX lawyer

“Yesterday’s statements of the General Prosecutor are reprehensible. There were statements by a politician, less by a prosecutor. But what happened today proves that someone knows the Code of Criminal Procedure and the ECHR quite poorly. With such knowledge, you do not build the rule of law. (…) What I can say is that in a state governed by the rule of law the prosecutor does not decide to start the criminal investigation in one hour and a half because physically it is not possible to study the materials and assess the facts so as to start a criminal case and detention. I don’t think it was necessary for the prosecutor general to be detained,” said Vadim Vieru.

Lawyer Eduard Digore claims, in a post made on his Facebook page, that the detention measure applied on a criminal case must have a serious motivation, to follow the grounds provided by law and the interest of finding out the truth, and defense must be granted to the accused. In this context, the lawyer recommends to prosecutors and courts to apply a principle that underlies the criminal process – that of the speed of prosecution.

Eduard Digore, the diaspora lawyer

“Detention of a prosecutor, general, or, no one is above the law! The status or function of the person should not be decisive in the decisions taken by the criminal investigation body, in particular in the application of a preventive measure. The detention measure applied on a concrete criminal case must have a serious motivation, to pursue the grounds provided by law and the interest of finding out the truth. A prosecutor, who has the power to order the detention of the person suspected of committing certain acts provided by the criminal code, based on the seriousness of the facts and their gravity, the manner in which they were committed and the instruments that were used, due to the weight of the evidence obtained, the danger of committing new acts, the real risk of influencing the course of the investigation and evading criminal liability, they will decide on the application or non-application of this measure. The suspect or the accused of committing a reprehensible act must really be provided with all the guarantees of defense. An important element – the prosecutor must undertake all the criminal prosecution actions in order to find out the truth, by investigating all the circumstances – those that prove the guilt, but also the innocence of the person concerned. Yes, it takes courage for a simple prosecutor to be able to detain a prosecutor general, a minister, a deputy or a country president. But, on the other hand, it is necessary to ensure the balance in justice, and the filter must be the judges, the real judges, who know and apply the law. That is so that we do not fall into the trap of the “dictatorship of the prosecutor’s office” again, as it was until 2019! I recommend to prosecutors and courts to apply a principle that underlies the criminal process – that of the speed of prosecution. As they say, – on hot tracks! We hope, as the rule widely used lately, according to which – `we know who, we know when, how, with whom, we have evidence, but we fail to prosecute him` to disappear,” the lawyer wrote on his Facebook page.

AUTHOR MAIL eng.zdg@gmail.com

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