DNA laboratory file: Ex-Director and Deputy director of Forensic Medicine Center will stand trials

The former director of the Center for Forensic Medicine (CML), the current deputy director of the CML, and an expert at the institution will stand trial, charged with power abuse through the purchase of laboratory equipment for DNA tests. 

According to prosecutors, during 2013, the deputy director of the Center for Forensic Medicine, acting in concert with the director and other employees of CML, committed, through participation, the offense of overcoming the duties in the following circumstances:

In line with the objectives of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy for 2011-2016, procurement of equipment enabling genetic testing in the Republic of Moldova (DNA analysis) was foreseen is necessary for the operative investigation of particularly serious crimes.

Thus, on May 14, 2013, by the order of the Minister of Health, a working group for capacity building of the Center of Forensic Medicine was set up in the field of genetic research, and the control over the implementation of the project was assigned to the director of CML. A month later, for the realization of the project, the allocation of 9 781 000 lei was ordered and on October 30, by the order of the chief of CML, a working group for public procurement was set up, which was to select the company that will deliver the medical- legal.

During June-August 2013, the CML expert, acting on behalf of his bosses, would have assured a Romanian company that he would favor it at the tender for procurement of the equipment necessary to equip the DNA laboratory. In order to confirm his words, he organized the nonprofessional visits of the Romanian company to the Ministry of Health and the Center of Forensic Medicine.

Following the discussions, it was agreed to develop the specification in such a way that the parameters and technical specifications of the equipment requested will coincide with those of the medical equipment to be proposed by the tenderer in Romania. As a result of the criminal actions of the said group, an auction was organized, with the minimization of competition of the economic agent.

Although the decision makers of the CML knew that the equipment in question was not sufficient for the operation of a laboratory of judicial genetics for human identification, the equipment was purchased for the amount of 9,763,800 lei. It has also been established that the technology to be applied by this laboratory is not validated by the international human scientific identification community (HID). Thus, without the validation procedure, the laboratory's accreditation procedure can not be performed and the results obtained in an invalid and non-accredited laboratory are invalid.

Moreover, the genetic equipment was to be acquired only after the design and construction of the headquarters of the contemporary genetic laboratory, which has not been done so far, the equipment can not be used as intended.

Moldova is the only state in Europe that does not have such a facility, Moldovan prosecutors are forced to use the services of other states for DNA testing, which means extended high costs.

If they are found guilty, the defendants are at risk from 6 to 10 years' imprisonment with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to practice certain activities for a period of 10 to 15 years. Also, the defendants will be obliged to recover the court expenses amounting to 67 thousand lei.

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