Several articles published by ZdG during 2021 have had an impact and led to opening criminal cases or sanctions.
- The investigation ”Concrete Instead of Trees in a Chișinău Forest” brought to the public’s attention the issue of capital constructions that had begun to be built in the Durlești Forest, on the outskirts of Chișinău.
We talked to the concerned residents that several trees in the forest near their houses had been cut down, and reinforced concrete constructions began to appear in their place. We also consulted the documents and photo/video images that the inhabitants had, and some of them were published.
On January 14, 2021, the text version of the material was published in Ziarul de Gardă, on January 16 the video material was broadcast by TV8, and on January 18, on zdg.md, the multimedia version was published: text/photo/video. The video was also published on youtube and Facebook.
The topic was taken over by TVR Moldova, Stiri.md, Point.md, Agora.md, SafeNews, Noi.md, 10TV, Publika TV, TVPrim, Punctul.md, Telegram channel Dumitru Ciorici, and others. The topic was later addressed in the show “Cutia Neagră” on TV8.
Following the publication of the video, a series of reactions from dignitaries and state institutions followed. Several deputies wrote on this subject on Facebook (Nicolae Ciubuc, Radu Marian, Dumitru Alaiba), and two of them filed complaints with various state bodies, including the General Prosecutor’s Office. Former Minister of Environment Valeriu Munteanu also referred to the subject
The Ministry of Agriculture, Development, and Environment, Moldsilva Agency, Durlești City Hall reacted in press releases.
ZdG continued to monitor the matter and monitored the actions taken by the authorities in this case. In May, we published a follow-up material with information from the Agency for Technical Supervision and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The case prosecutor then announced that several lawsuits and a criminal case had been initiated. “It will be a resounding case,” the prosecutor said. The news was taken over by other sites (Radio Chișinău, Știri.md, Punctul.md).
In June, ZdG informed the public that the owner of the company that had initiated the construction of the reinforced concrete houses in the forest had started the demolition works, after being summoned by the authorities. We filmed the demolition taking place and posted a new video on youtube and Facebook. The information about the demolition of the buildings in the Durlești forest was later taken over by Publika TV, Știri.md, Ecopresa.md, Point.md, and the Moldsilva State Agency published a communiqué entitled “The insistence of the authorities and citizens solves the case of the Durlești forest”.
In November 2021, we were on the scene again and found that, although the buildings had been demolished, the rubble had not yet been evacuated. We made a timeline material, which was published in the printed edition of Ziarul de Gardă on November 4th.
Prosecutor Ghenadie Pîrlii, the head of the Department for the Investigation of Frauds against the Environment and Public Interests within the General Prosecutor’s Office, told us that, due to the complexity of the case, the procedural actions are still ongoing: “A group of prosecutors is working on the case. An extremely large volume of actions has already been taken. It is a very large, complicated, and interesting case for us, including a large number of decision-makers in the various institutions involved. Such a criminal case is a first for the Prosecutor’s Office, but there will certainly be others, which should be started not only based on the investigations of journalists, but also on the materials submitted by the environmental bodies,” the prosecutor declared.
The ZdG reporter was later contacted by a prosecutor, who requested the raw video footage. We provided the prosecutors with the images to attach to the criminal cases they had opened.
- The luxurios house of a former Deputy Minister of the Interior, put up for sale or exchanged for an apartment, building materials or car, the investigation in which we revealed the fact that General Ion Țurcan, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, who held for 10 months the position of president of Criuleni district from the Democratic Party, put up for sale his luxury house, located on the bank of the Dniester. Although in his declarations of wealth, the former head of the Special Purpose Police Brigade “Fulger” writes that the house was obtained through a donation and that its value is 6,000 euros, on the website, the required price is 320,000 euros, or 53 times more than he indicates in the documents submitted to the National Integrity Authority, states ZdG. Turcan was selling his luxury property with the help of an intermediary.
According to the ZdG article, the prosecutors opened a criminal case for illicit enrichment on behalf of the former dignitary, who was also detained for 72 hours.
- Former Deputy Minister of Interior Detained for 72 hours. He is Investigated for Illicit Enrichment after the Integrity Authority Initiated a Control of His Wealth Due to a ZdG Investigation
- VIDEO / Counterfeit Vaccine Certificates against COVID-19 in which ZdG demonstrated how fake vaccination certificates are sold, the reporter being officially entered by a medical worker in the Register of vaccination against COVID-19, without being vaccinated.
After the publication of the article, the Șoldănesti Police Inspectorate started a criminal case for forgery in public documents, and the Șoldanesti Health Center started an internal investigation. A criminal case, also for forgery in public documents, is being investigated by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office.
- In June, ZdG published the series of investigations “Forest Thieves” in which we described the schemes by which the forests in Moldova are cut and stolen. The investigation also reveals that some foresters are protected and urged by Moldsilva decision-makers not to recognize the results of the checks carried out in which violations were found. During the period when ZdG was publishing the investigations, Dumitru Cojocaru, the then head of Moldsilva, announced that the institution had notified itself and would verify the facts invoked in the articles.
Deputy Radu Marian later announced that he had filed a criminal complaint with the General Prosecutor’s Office on the management of the “Hîncești-Silva” Forestry Enterprise, based on the “Forest Thieves” investigation, published by ZdG. “The ZdG investigation presented clear evidence, audio recordings, testimonies, and documents, about several crimes that take place at this forestry enterprise,” the deputy states.
Subsequently, the Moldsilva Agency announced that it had not found any irregularities in the activity of the persons concerned in the “Forest Thieves”. However, on July 7, 2021, the Hâncești District Prosecutor’s Office ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings “for the embezzlement of foreign property (timber) within the Bobeica Forest District” of the Hâncești-Silva Forestry Enterprise.
In November 2021, deputy Radu Marian, the one who submitted the notification to the General Prosecutor’s Office, was informed about the fact that the criminal case is in the phase of criminal investigation being “actions and measures are carried out according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
- Money prizes worth 5,000 euros, on the occasion of the patron saint of Strășeni for the district administration. The president of the district signed the order by which he rewarded himself.
At the beginning of February, ZdG wrote about how the president of Strășeni district, Pavel Tamaciuc, together with the vice-presidents and most of the civil servants from the district president’s office benefited from cash prizes totaling about 5,000 euros.
According to the ZdG article, the president of Strășeni district, Pavel Tamaciuc, was found by the National Integrity Authority with a conflict of interest. The control procedure was initiated based on an ex officio notification after Ziarul de Gardă published the article about Tamaciuc. Later, in December, the president of Straseni district was fired.
Thank you for reading us. We will be on duty in 2022. Happy new year!