EU Reporter Investigation Uncovers Abuses of the Moldovan Court System

23 Nov, 2015, 16:45 ET from EU Reporter

BRUSSELS, November 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, unemployment is high, and the country is heavily dependent upon remittances from thousands of Moldovans working abroad. A large part of the Moldovan population is Romanian-speaking, although there are also Russian and Ukrainian minorities.

The communists were the ruling party in the former Soviet state from 1998 until 2009. Since 2009 Moldova became more pro-western. Moldova currently aspires to join the European Union, and has implemented the first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and has signed a far-reaching Association Agreement with the EU in 2014.

The parliamentary elections in 2014 lasted nearly two months and resulted in the formation of a minority coalition composed of two groupings: the Liberal-Democratic Party (PLDM) and the Democratic Party (PDM). Contrary to their initial announcements, PDLM and PDM did not admit the Liberal Party led by Mihai Ghimpu to power. Moreover, they blocked the nomination for prime minister of the incumbent, Iurie Leancă. This ensured that the political model present in Moldova since 2009 has been preserved, in which the state's institutions have been subordinated to two main oligarch politicians.

EU Reporter decided to investigate the present Moldova situation and the country's chances for EU accession. When the country set on a pro-European course in Moldova some years ago popular support of this idea was around 80%, unfortunately now it has declined to 30%.

Corruption appears to be rife, with "raider attacks - where individuals or companies have their assets stolen by corrupt officials  - and clear and significant abuses of the Moldovan court system.

EU Reporter took evidence from Moldovan businessmen now living in hiding in Germany who said that being in Moldova has become untenable and further claimed that they were the victims of 'corporate raider attacks' instigated by corrupt officials, which resulted in the expropriation of their assets.

"It is difficult to explain a raider attack to western society - it requires all the state and law enforcement institutions to act in complicity with the perpetrator and the final beneficiary of everything that is taken. For this, you need political influence, dominant political influence, because you have to appoint judges," Viorel Topa,  one of the businessman, told EU Reporter.

"And there are many more people like us. It is a fact that the state agencies, including the public prosecutor's office and judiciary, identify assets then attack you via stealth and initiating false court proceedings. We just woke up one day to find that our assets had been transferred to unknown people - this was followed by us being told that if we kept our mouths shut, then it's OK, probably, if not, you would face penalties. If you then continued, you would be put in prison, and that is the story," said Viorel Topa

The businessmen's assets have not been returned and nor have their criminal convictions been overturned

EU Reporter investigations uncovered evidence that these were clearly politically driven as evidenced by the manner in which they were obtained; a manner that would not be upheld or recognized by any system which follows the principles of natural justice.

Speaking to EU Reporter, one businessman said, "We are basically refugees, if we had not left Moldova five years ago, we would be in jail and probably not alive today."

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SOURCE EU Reporter