23 Jul 2019 19:45

Moldovan justice minister demands several judges, prosecutors be dismissed over corruption

CHISINAU. July 23 (Interfax) - Moldovan Justice Minister Olesea Stamate has demanded that a number of judges and prosecutors, who are members of the Council of the National Institute of Justice be dismissed; she accused them of corruption at a meeting of the Supreme Council of Justice on Tuesday.

The Council of the National Institute of Justice comprises 13 members, including seven who are appointed by the Supreme Council of Justice from courts of various instances, four by the prosecutor general upon suggestion of the Supreme Council of Prosecutors. The Justice Ministry appoints one member and the Senate of the Moldovan State University appointed the last member, a law professor.

Stamate demanded that six of them be dismissed, judges Mariana Pitic, Oxana Robu, Ghenadie Pavliuc, and Viorica Mihaila, and prosecutors Igor Popa and Ruslan Popov.

"We all know that those judges and prosecutors were the 'heroes' of journalist investigations. They had serious issues with incorruptibility. Purging the judicial system from corruption is a crucial task, which Prime Minister Maia Sandu talked about," the minister said.

Some members of the Supreme Council of Justice pointed out that it is impossible to dismiss the prosecutors legally, because it is up to the Supreme Council of Prosecutors to decide on their fate. As for the judges, the Supreme Council of Justice made a decision to dismiss them on Tuesday.

As reported, last week, Supreme Council of Justice Chairman Victor Micu was relieved of his duties at Stamate's suggestion.

The Supreme Council of Justice comprises 12 experienced judges, as well as the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Chamber, the prosecutor general, and the justice minister.

According to the Moldovan Constitution, "the Supreme Council of Justice ensures appointment, transferal, secondment of judges, their promotions and the use of disciplinary sanctions against them." The president appoints and dismisses judges at the council's suggestion. At that, the president cannot reject the council's suggestion, if it is repeated.

All judges of the Constitutional Court, the prosecutor general, the senior officials of the Information and Security Service, the National Anti-Corruption Center, the National Police Inspectorate, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, and a number of other institutions tendered their resignations after the change of the government in Moldova last month. Several judges and prosecutors were dismissed. A total of 420 judges and 660 prosecutors work in Moldova's judicial system.