Former MP Sergiu Sîrbu’s “unjustified wealth” of 1.9 million lei out of danger. Supreme Court of Justice gives him victory in the case against National Integrity Authority
Former defector MP Sergiu Sîrbu has obtained, in court, the annulment of an act issued by the National Integrity Authority (ANI) against him, which found the presence of an unjustified wealth of over 1.9 million lei. The case reached the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), which in mid-July this year upheld the decision of the Chișinău Court of Appeal (CA), which declared inadmissible the application in which the National Integrity Authority (ANI) requested the confiscation of the “unjustified wealth” of the former defector MP, amounting to 1.9 million lei.
On 1 December 2021, ANI concluded the procedure for the control of the assets of former MP Sergiu Sîrbu and issued a statement of finding. The integrity inspector found the presence of a substantial difference, amounting to more than 1.9 million lei and unjustified holding in this amount by Sîrbu.
The substantial difference was established for the years 2016-2019, during the exercise of public office, and was identified in bank accounts held in financial institutions in the country.
In addition, after examining the declarations of assets and personal interests, submitted between 2016 and 2019, ANI found that the former MP had entered several incomplete and erroneous data.
“He did not declare income in the total amount of over 1 million lei, included erroneous data on income obtained in the form of donations in 2018 in the amount of over 196 thousand lei and in 2019 in the amount of 20 thousand euros.
Similarly, he erroneously filled in information about cash held in the form of a loan granted to an individual in the amount of 38 thousand US dollars and 650 thousand lei. For the year 2018 there is erroneous data about cash held in the form of savings in the amounts of 200 thousand lei and 6000 euros, and in 2019, the same error is found about cash in savings in the amount of 200 thousand lei and 20 thousand euros respectively,” the act issued by ANI states.
In the explanations given to the integrity inspector, the former MP claimed that the source of origin of the money was from the family’s legal income – allowances, travel allowances, but also from donations obtained at family events or other aid. Mr Sirbu said that he had not drawn up written civil legal documents for these donations – “this state of affairs does not affect the validity of the donation contract, since the donated property was handed over to the donor”.
The integrity inspector accepted only part of the former MP’s arguments, which he proved with supporting documents.
Not agreeing with the ANI act, on 7 December 2021, the defector MP referred the matter to the Chisinau Court of Appeal, requesting its annulment.
Subsequently, on 21 March 2022, ANI filed an application with the Chisinau CA requesting a declaration of the existence of the substantial difference, the unjustified possession of the wealth and the confiscation of the unjustified wealth, the application being submitted in the administrative dispute action.
On 24 March this year, the Chisinau CA declared the Authority’s application inadmissible on the grounds that the application in question did not fall within the competence of the specialised Administrative Proceedings Panel of the Chisinau CA. ANI filed an appeal, but on 13 July the CSJ rejected it as unfounded, the decision being irrevocable, and upheld the decision of 24 March of the CA Chisinau.
In 2021 ZdG wrote that in the last two years, Sîrbu’s family had a cumulative income of about 820 thousand lei and donations of 20 thousand euros. In addition to the wealth acquired in 2020, the MP’s family also owns two apartments, estimated at 1.2 million lei. In 2021, he received as a donation two cars worth a total of 1 million lei. The cars were previously owned by the Sîrbu couple.
In 2019, a criminal case was brought against Sîrbu on suspicion of active bribery of a communist deputy to leave the party. Subsequently, the case was closed.
Sîrbu’s name appears in a file for illicit enrichment. He was arrested on 2 February in the case of 13 former defectors suspected of illicit enrichment.
In addition to suspected illicit enrichment, Sergiu Sîrbu is also suspected of disclosing data on the criminal prosecution actions to be undertaken by anti-corruption prosecutors. He allegedly warned Artur Reșetnicov the day before about the prosecutors’ searches.
After several months under house arrest, the former MP was provisionally released on 19 July under judicial control for 60 days.