Amnesty International Moldova expresses its concern about the recently opened criminal cases against lawyers and human rights defenders from the Republic of Moldova. The lawyers have repeatedly criticized the manner of the investigation procedure of cases represented by them.
In at least two cases, it is reasonable to believe that the investigation could be politically motivated. Ana Ursachi and Eduard Rudenco are both lawyers on cases with considerable political resonance, namely those of Grigore Petrenco and Veaceslav Platon.
Political influence against lawyers is unacceptable in compliance with international standards. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe emphasized that all necessary measures should be taken to respect, protect and promote the freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer without discrimination and without improper interference from the authorities or the public, in particular in the light of the relevant provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
AI Moldova has already expressed its concern about Petrenco’s case and politically-motivated prosecutions.
Among cases monitored by AI Moldova there are those of Veaceslav Platon and Vladimir Filat. In this regard, the organization requested to discuss with Platon and Filat, during a visit to the penitentiary No. 13. The discussion was refused. Worryingly, after this visit, several lawyers complained to AIM that they were being refused meetings with their clients who are in penitentiary No. 13, contrary to national law provisions and international standards.
In recent weeks, criminal proceedings were also opened against two other lawyers and human rights defenders, Veaceslav Turcan and Maxim Belinschi. These proceedings are also raising reasonable doubts with regard to fair procedural standards.
It is worth mentioning that the state Republic of Moldova cannot oppress defence lawyers. It has to respect impartially and with strictness the provisions of XVII UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, 27 August to 7 September 1990.
The criminal investigation body and Republic of Moldova authorities shall respect the Constitution and apply legal provisions, without any political intrusion or violation of international assumed obligations.