On the arrest and the treatment of Mr Dorin Chirtoacă, Mayor of Chisinau, Moldova - statement by ALDE Party President
It is with increasing concern that the ALDE Party continues to observe the deterioration of rule of law and democratic standards in the Republic of Moldova. As we have seen in recent days, the ruling Democratic Party (PDM) have wilfully discarded the recommendations of the Venice Commission and changed the electoral system, and now we are witnessing attempts of intimidation against the elected opposition.
The arrest and the treatment of Mr Dorin Chirtoacă, the Mayor of Chisinau and First Deputy Chairman of ALDE Party member party Partidul Liberal (PL), is suggestive of selective and partisan justice. We remain committed to the principle that any case of potential abuse of office must be investigated, and so we call upon the respective authorities to adhere to the international standards and good practices in conducting such investigations.
A sudden arrest in a case that has been open since 2015 just days after PL threatened to leave the government led by PDM, and the extension of the house arrest of Mr Chirtoacă, raises tremendous concerns and questions. It is also troubling that two of Mr Chirtoacă’s lawyers were removed by the Anti-Corruption prosecutor and forbidden from further representing the defence, a violation of the right to defence, a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and the European Convention on Human Rights.