30 june, 2017

“Our Home is Moldova” (OHM) party leader Grigore Petrenco, sentenced to a 4.5-year term on probation earlier this week “for the organization of mass disturbances in Chisinau”, regards the entire trial of the ‘Petrenco group’ as “an obvious political order given to the Court by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, the coordinator of the ruling coalition in Moldova and of everything in this country”.

Petrenco stated at his news conference at Infotag today that “Neither the Court nor prosecutors were able to present even a single evidence of my and my comrades’ guilt in the charges that were put forward against us”.

The opposition politician drew attention to how the court judgment violated the basic civil rights of the case defendants.

“Due to the probation verdicts issued on us, were have no right to leave the country, or take part in civil protest actions, or run as candidates at elections. What is it, if not a violation of the civil rights fixed in the Constitution?” wondered a Member of the previous Moldovan Parliament and an ex-Deputy Chairman of the Unified European Left group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

In his understanding, the Moldovan authorities “in the person of Mr. Plahotniuc alone” have downgraded the entire judiciary system of Moldova into “kind of a bludgeon used for smashing the heads of all political opponents”.

“The unfair judgment of the case will not stop us. I shall continue my struggle against the Plahotniuc regime. As concerns my case, there is a coordinated position of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of the Government of Germany, of European parliamentarians, and a Statement by the U.S. Department of State on the political prosecution of the Petrenco group”, said the opposition politician.

Grigore Petrenco reminded about the existence of a very efficient instrument of struggle against all sorts of oligarchs and dictators that was worked out by the United States Congress and known in the world as the Magnitsky Law.

“That Law stipulates the imposition of sanctions against persons included into the ‘black list’. We will do our utmost to place Vlad Plahotniuc onto this list – as the brightest representative of the lawlessness going on in Moldova. The Magnitsky Law stipulates visa restrictions for entering the United States and the blocking of financial assets in American banks for the persons on the black list”, said Grigore Petrenco.

He addressed to President Igor Dodon, who received on June 20 a document for consideration and approval – on extending the mandate of Judge Angela Cibotaru who chaired the panel of judges that conducted the Petrenco group lawsuit.

“You are eligible to extend her mandate or not. But may I request you to take into consideration that Cibotaru was directly, personally involved into the political litigation against me and my party comrades. This is not only my assertion – this is the truth known to tens of high-ranked officials, Members of Parliament, human right activists. I am convinced that Angela Cibotaru must be deprived of the status of a judge. The same measure needs to be used against Judges Ludmila Ursu and Natalia Clevada, who were passing unlawful verdicts at various stages of the Petrenco group litigation.

As already reported by Infotag, on September 6, 2015 Grigore Petrenco and eight OHM activists were arrested for 30 days “for organization of unrest”. On that day, they brought tens of their supporters for an action of protest before the Prosecutor General’s Office. The police did not let them approach the Office doors. A noisy scuffle broke out, in which 6 cops were slightly injured. The Ministry of the Interior put the entire responsibility for the incident on the protesters, the more so that iron chains were found with the protesters, who maintained that it was just a symbol of unity with the people, while the police maintained that the chains were weaponry. First the protesters were kept in custody for 6 months, then were placed under a house arrest, and eventually under judicial review.


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