The arrest warrant issued on behalf of former PDM leader Vlad Plahotniuc remained in force. The magistrates of the Chisinau Court of Appeal rejected the lawyers' appeal and left the decision of the first instance in force.
According to the lawyer, the criminal case would be a political one. Lucian Rogac, one of Vlad Plahotniuc's lawyers, said he could not explain the maintenance of his arrest warrant, given that another preventive measure had been issued on his client some time ago.
LUCIAN ROGAC, Vlad Plahotniuc's lawyer: “The national courts or the criminal investigation bodies, the Prosecutor's Office are not entitled to request the application of two arrest warrants simultaneously. It is an illegality and a procedural artifice, an invention of prosecutors and judges. In the practice of the Republic of Moldova, there have been such cases counted on the fingers and all the given cases have reached the European Court of Human Rights, with the loss of Moldova.
Moreover, Lucian Rogac states that the case would be a political one, and the court maintained the preventive measure following repeated public pressure on judges.
LUCIAN ROGAC, Vlad Plahotniuc's lawyer: “However, they would be influenced by politics or other external factors. Before entering the hearing on June 13, I saw the communiqué of the General Prosecutor's Office, which indicated that the judges of the Appeal are delaying the examination. I believe that such intimidation is unacceptable in a democratic state."
At the same time, the lawyer was concerned that the court hearing was held even though there are COVID-19 cases at the Chisinau Court of Appeal. In reply, the PCCOCS prosecutor, Dumitru Răileanu, declares that he does not see any danger of spreading the novel coronavirus.
DUMITRU RĂILEANU, PCCOCS prosecutor: "There is no risk insofar as all the restrictions related to the proper equipment, the observance of the distance are observed. The epidemiological situation at the moment in the country cannot completely stop the investigations and the criminal investigation."
The General Prosecutor's Office issued a press release expressing its concern about the prolonged postponements of the Chisinau Court of Appeal, regarding the examination of the appeal of the of the former democratic leader's defenders.
The prosecutor's office also says that, in this way, the efforts in the process of investigating the bank fraud would be thwarted. In reply, the Chisinau Court of Appeal described the prosecution's accusations as out of place and irrelevant.
At the same time, the appellate court claims that all the court hearings were postponed, not to delay the investigation, but in order to respect the procedural rights, including the participants in the trial.