The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office carried out searches in the office of the former President of Moldova’s Supreme Court of Justice. Following the searches, the prosecutors identified several memos containing strict instructions directing judges to adopt particular decisions in a number of high profile cases. Subsequently, they launched an investigation for interference in the execution of justice. However, Ion Druță was removed from criminal prosecution in the case of interference in the execution of justice.
The prosecutors also investigate Ion Druță for illicit enrichment. This case is still under investigation.
Eight months after the prosecutors carried out the searches in Ion Druță’s office, ZdG asked the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office about the case. The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office representatives told us that the former judge was removed from criminal prosecution in the case regarding the interference in the execution of justice. The representatives mentioned that the decision is related to the lack of evidence for the indictment and the expiration of the term for keeping the person as a suspect, the term being six months.
Judge Ion Druță was investigated in a criminal case for interference in the execution of justice. The case is based on several documents that law enforcement officers found when Druță’s office was searched in September, 2019. The memos found in his office contained strict instructions directing judges to adopt particular decisions in a number of high profile cases.
ZdG was able to access a number of the incriminating documents from the magistrate’s office, which revealed explicit instructions for the judges handling the case against businessman Valentin Eșanu, a case involving an assassination attempt on Moldova’ richest oligarch, former Democratic Party leader Vlad Plahotniuc, as well as the case against alleged drug trafficker Oleg Pruteanu (alias Oleg Borman).
Former judge Ion Druță was removed from criminal prosecution in the case of interference in execution of justice. In this case, the prosecutors investigate other judges. Several investigated judges are from the Supreme Court of Justice who were to execute the orders coming from Ion Druță on those cases.
Some judges investigated in the notification are among those who participated in the organization of the General Assembly of Judges last autumn, when the revocation of the Superior Council of Magistracy members was voted.
Thus, after being removed from criminal prosecution in a case, Ion Druță is criminally investigated only for illicit enrichment.
Druţă’s parents, daughter and in-laws have acquired several valuable apartments and commercial spaces in newly erected buildings in downtown Chișinău. The goods are worth over 677,000 euros (13 million lei). In October 2019, the prosecutor managing the case stated that the criminal investigation is almost complete. He claimed that shortly the case will be sent to court. However, the case has not yet reached the court.
Asked to inform us at what stage is the investigation of this case, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office informed us that the prosecutors are awaiting the results of the investigations carried out by the Agency for the Recovery of Criminal Property. Respectively, depending on the findings of the agency the prosecutors will decide on the appropriateness of carrying out other criminal prosecution actions.
ZdG previously identified the properties Druţă’s family members acquired in recent years and obtain access to several incriminating memos from the magistrate’s office at the Supreme Court of Justice.
Officially, neither the judge nor his wife, Lilia Druţă, have made any significant purchases in the last three years. The two live in the Malina Mică neighborhood of Chișinău, in a house built in 2011 and valued at around 228,000 dollars (over 4 million lei). But according to ZdG’s investigation, Druţă’s parents, daughter and in-laws have acquired several valuable apartments and commercial spaces in newly erected buildings in downtown Chișinău.
On December 19 2019, the Parliament approved, at the proposal of the Superior Council of Magistracy, Ion Druță’s resignation.
Ion Druta left the judiciary after 26 years. Druță works at the Supreme Court of Justice since 2013, and since 2018 he has held the position of president of the court.
As provided by law, upon resignation, Ion Druță received an allowance of about 24,000 euros (459,000 lei). From this amount were withdrawn taxes amounting to 22.5%, so Druță received around 19,000 euros (356,000 lei).
Ion Druță indicated in the declaration of assets and interests submitted when he resigned from the position of a judge that he benefited from the allowance. Thus, together with the salary income, Ion Druță declared that he received around 47,000 euros (894,700 lei).