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463-vitalie-burlacu-1Gennady Cosovan, former Deputy Minister of Interior, admits he worked with the National Anti-corruption in the case of corrupting deputies. At the same time, although the press has speculated that Vitalie Burlacu, would have been helping the former minister, George Papuc, or that he would not have held an official position in MIA, ZdG found out that he held several official positions in the Interiors, at last being even the help of Gennady Cosovan, whom he telephoned to propose the corruption of MPs.

463-vitalie-burlacu-4On March 7th, 2014, the National Anti-Corruption (NAC) and the Anticorruption Prosecutor (PA) announced that they have arrested two people in the act, suspected to have attempted to bribe members of the current coalition. They were ready to pay 250 thousand USD for some officials to leave their parties, parts of the Coalition European Pro. Subsequently, on March 13th, NAC announced that, in a bank in the capital was found the amount of 500 000 euros, in a safe hired by Irina Baglai, one of the two detainees. Irina, with Vitaly Burlacu are even now in custody, where they will stay, at least until the beginning of April.

463-vitalie-burlacu-5«Yes, I worked with NAC»

When the two were arrested by anti-corruption officers and prosecutors, NAC has provided media, in addition to pictures of the act, an audio recording in which a voice similar to that of Burlacu is talking to an intermediary, who was to get money to MPs. The discussion refers to the meeting place of the next day, when the money were to be sent, but also about the deputy who would, theoretically, be corrupted. In the registration is pronounced the name of Liberal Reformist MP (PLR), Anatol Arhire, who, according to the intermediary, was already «down payment». Voice of intermediates is Gennady’s Cosovan, who served as deputy minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the last time in 2008-2009.

Contacted repeatedly by ZdG, finally, Gennady Cosovan admitted he was the person who worked with NAC to retain those who wanted to corrupt deputies. But, Cosovan did not want to provide more details, stating only that the case is not a made one. «Yes, I was the one who announced NAC about attempted bribery of parliamentarians and have subsequently worked with anti-corruption officers. I signed for not disclosing secret proceedings. I can say one thing. Everything done by me have been actions that were under cover of the Code of Criminal Procedure», he said.

463-ghenadie-cosovanBurlacu was helping Cosovan

Although Cosovan did not want to provide details about the operation, ZdG found out from reliable sources that Vitalie Burlacu was trying to propose him his participation in bribing MPs since January. Sources form the investigation claim that Gennady Cosovan, would have recorded him on the phone and would have gone with that recording to Viorel Chetraru, director of NAC. Thus began the operation. However, although anti-corruption prosecutors and officers were announcing in a press conference that the deputy that was to be corrupted had to announce that day that leaves the faction to which he belongs, several sources declared for ZdG that Gennady Cosovan did not even talk to Anatol Arhire, but only made Burlacu believe that he agreed with the deputy. The same sources from the investigation ensures that the money came from Russia, and about the attempted bribery knew important people from there.

Why did Burlacu ask Cosovan for help to corrupt MPs?  Although previously, in press circulated the idea that Vitalie Burlacu worked in the MIA, without holding an official function, ZdG found out that things are different. Burlacu held several positions within the MAI in the communist period, including at the Department of Homeland Security being a specialist in information technology. In the last period at the ministry headed then by Gheorhe Papuc, Burlacu was even the help of Gennady Cosovan. Hence the connection between the two and the confidence Burlacu had in Cosovan, that was displaying recently as a promoter of pro-European parties.

463-vitalie-burlacu-2April 7th, schemes and luxury cars

The name of Vitalie Burlacu became known during protests from April 2009, when he was photographed hitting the young protesters, in processes of karate. Vitalie Burlacu appears in a scheme of smuggle with meat, made ​​public in 2009, by Viorel Chetraru, director of NAC, along with other representatives of the communist government, including Igor Dodon and Iurie Muntean, then, members of Voronin’s party. Interestingly, Burlacu, after the events of April 2009, to avoid investigation, spent some time in Russia. After returning to Moldova, he was driving cars worth over 100 thousand euros, although not officially engaged.

463-irina-baglai-1Burlacu’s lawyer, Anatoly Ceachir, who also defends Ion Perju, policeman accused of death of Valeriu Boboc  during the events of April 2009, has avoided discussing with us. Angela Munteanu, Irina Baglai lawyer says that «the criminal case is an arranged story, but has many flaws. In materials accessible to defense there is no evidence that Irina Baglai had even the slightest involvement in corruption of MPs. Until today, the prosecutors did not identify the deputies who were, allegedly, to be corrupted. I believe that the preventive measures is a crime, under political pressures. I intend to appeal to the European Court the arrest warrant and the State is liable to be sentenced again», says Munteanu.

Elements of a controversial case

 The criminal case concerning Deputies corruption is one with more than strange elements.

  1. The moment when Vitalie Burlacu was brought to NAC. Institution representatives took care that press is present at that moment. 
  2. Prosecutors declaration that deputy targeted was to announce leaving the party on that day. Prosecutors knew that he was not even contacted by the intermediary.
  3. NAC, for the first time, made available an audio recording to media in which two men (Cosovan and Burlacu), talk about the corruption of MPs. Usually, evidence on record are never made public or, even more, given to the press.
  4. At the press conference organized by NAC participated deputy prosecutor Adrian Popenco, known after instrumented at the initial stage the case of the former head of the IRS, Nicolae Vicol, about whom have been said repeatedly that it would be a command.
  5. When, some sources suggested that behind MPs corruption would stand controversial Vyacheslav Platon, NAC was publishing a video with 500 000 euros found in a safe in a bank, leased by Irina Baglai. Although the name of the bank was not provided, from the images provided to media representatives, could be seen stamps of two banks from Moldova: Energbank and Moldindconbank, the latter being controlled by the family of Vyacheslav Platon.

Eduard Harunjen, chief PA, categorically rejects the claims of those who question the veracity of the file. «If you share the position of a part of the society that says that this is a coup de theater, wait for the survey results. It is a sick reaction of the society and nobody said anything good about NAC or PA, when in fact it was a very complicated operation and in premiere for Moldova. We are pathologically suspicious. Why should someone mock  of someone’s work?” asks the prosecutor, who says that the case is one with many proofs.

File, in the trial until the end of the month

PLR MP, Anatol Arhire says he was questioned by anti-corruption prosecutors. «I told the prosecutor that I have no involvement”. Although at the press conference announcing the detention of persons seeking to corrupt deputies, prosecutors and anti-corruption officers announced that the deputy who was to be corrupted knew about it and was even going to announce on that day that leaves the party and the faction, during the hearings, Arhire says that prosecutors have not claimed that he knew. «The rest, you will find out on Thursday (today, no), at my press conference», the MP told us, without going into details.

Talks about attempts to corrupt deputies began on February 14, when two deputies, Valentina Stratan from DP and Iurie Chiorescu from LDP announced that there was an attempt of corrupting them, being asked to leave the current parties to form a new faction. Iurie Chiorescu told us he was heard, on Tuesday, March 18th, by the officers of the Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) and the NAC officers.

«I’m glad they are working and I believe they will do the job», said the MP. He states that, from what he understood from the prosecutors, the case he has been heard in does not relate to file of detention of Burlacu and Baglai. «From what I understood, it is more difficult. After we announced about the tentative, spirits got quiet. That has been my goal», says Chiorescu.

Eduard Harunjen, head of the PA, declared that now, is working on the case and that, most likely, by the end of the month, the case will be prosecuted. Harunjen says that, so far, prosecutors have failed to detect who are the people who would be behind the two arrested, but claims that everything is done to «find the truth». At the same time, other sources from law enforcement say that, during the following period, will happen other corrupt actions of the deputies.

Victor MOSNEAG, [email protected]

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