What’s Happening at the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office?

After taking the office the new Prosecutor General initiated a complex control at two specialized prosecutor’s offices, suspending the head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and the head of the Prosecutor Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases. ZdG made a chronology of the whole story since the Prosecutor General initiated the special control. 

The five-month search for a Prosecutor General led to the collapse of the anti-oligarchic alliance and a new Prosecutor General taking office at the end of November 2019. The next day after Alexandr Stoianoglo became the new Prosecutor General President Igor Dodon signed the appointment decree. 

Two weeks after his appointment Stoianoglo suspended for a month the head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor Office, along with the head of the Prosecutor Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS), declaring that the suspension is connected with a special control carried out by the Office of the Prosecutor General. 

ZdG offers a chronology of the whole story. 

Why the Prosecutor General suspends the head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office 

Stoianoglo initiated the special control at the beginning of December 2019, suspending the head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, Viorel Morari for a month. 

According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the control of the two prosecutor’s offices is aimed at verifying and evaluating the activities of these two specialized units. 

According to ZdG sources, about 20 special representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office were at the headquarters of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office.

The special control took place only at two prosecutor’s offices

However, the special control is carried out only at the two prosecutor’s offices, and not at the Prosecutor’s Office of the Chișinău municipality, headed by Ștefan Șaptefrați.

Asked by ZdG the spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General said that the provisions concern only specialized prosecutor’s offices, respectively, the municipal prosecutor’s office does not fall under the scope the provision signed by Alexandr Stoianoglo and that the institution does not have sufficient resources for the simultaneous verification of all prosecutors. 

Morari confronts the new Prosecutor General decision

After he got suspended, Morari filed a lawsuit against the Office of the Prosecutor General requesting the suspension of orders and the provisions signed by Stoianoglo. 

Morari argued that this special control could block the activity of the specialized prosecutor’s office and will delay the conduct of the criminal prosecution in the criminal cases in the management, mentioning also about the vulnerability of the prosecutors within the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office. 

Morari’s lawsuit was rejected by Chișinău Court, and he didn’t challenge the court’s conclusion. 

Viorel Morari, about the reasons that would have led to his suspension from the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office

In an interview given for DW , Morari explained that he anticipated that he would be transferred since following the interview of Alexandr Stoianoglo at the Superior Council of Prosecutors.

At the same time, he stated that he did not want to make any connection, but everything started after, on December 2, the Anticorruption Prosecution made a request to the State Tax Inspectorate in the file on the financing of the Socialist Party abroad.

The prosecutor said that the return to the file on the external financing of the Socialist Party was necessary in the context in which Andrei Năstase filed an appeal.

Prosecutor General about the special control at the two Prosecutor’s Offices

Moldova’s Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo, stated, during the December 16 edition of the TV8 program Politics, that people who believe that they have been unfairly sued will be able to request their revision.

During the same TV program Stoianoglo stated that the special control of the two specialized prosecutor’s offices will provide insights about what’s going on inside, how many people were arrested, who are they, claiming that all these data wasn’t presented to him. 

The Office of the Prosecutor General extends the verification period at the two specialized prosecutor’s offices

When the specialized control at the two prosecutor’s offices should’ve ended, Stoianoglo announced about the extension of the complex control of the specialized prosecutor’s offices, till January 10. 

According to Stoianoglo the control was extended due to the large workload for the 2016-2019 period which the prosecutors wanted to check. The Prosecutor General added that the assets of the suspended head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, Viorel Morari, are also verified. 

The General Prosecutor’s Office detains the suspended head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office

However, on January 10, on the day the special control should’ve finished Morari, was detained for 72 hours. 

Asked by ZdG, the spokesman of the General Prosecutor’s Office, Emil Gaitur, said that Morari was detained for abuse of authority and false in public documents. 

Deputy Prosecutor General Ruslan Popov said for ZdG that his detention is related to investigating the theft of a billion dollars and the denunciation regarding Veceslav Platon

According to a press release from the Office of the Prosecutor General Morari is suspected that in March 2017, received from Vladimir Plahotniuc, former leader of the Democratic Party a complaint that he registered against the legal requirements, starting a criminal trial, and criminal prosecution and falsifying in the criminal case several procedural documents. 

In the criminal prosecution, Viorel Morari did not acknowledge the commission of the crimes he is suspected of and at this stage does not cooperate with the investigation. 

Now the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office is led by Serghei Gavajuc, who has previously served as interim deputy of the chief prosecutor of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and as the  head of the North Office. 

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