November 5: The judicial bench of the Court of Appeals in Chisinau, Moldova, rejected the request for the release of the Petrenko Group political prisoners.
Red Bloc prisoners Grigory Petrenko, Pavel Grigorchuk and Mikhail Amerberg in court, Nov. 5.
The hearing lasted about an hour and a half, during which attorneys for the prisoners argued the groundlessness of the prosecutor’s arguments to keep the Petrenko Group detained, noting the exclusively tailored nature of the proceedings.
In turn, the prosecutor expressed the requirement for further detention in just a sentence. “We want to keep the measure of restraint for the accused, and consider justified the verdict of the trial court,” said the prosecutor. This brevity caused confusion even among the judges, who drew the prosecutor’s attention to the fact that the defense lawyers’ speech lasted more than an hour.
Earlier it was reported that the chair of the bench of the Court of Appeals, Judge Yuri Jordan, was accused by Chisinau prosecutor Ivan Dyakov of criminal connivance, having decided to release drug dealers under house arrests, who thereby escaped. The prosecutor accused the judge of taking a bribe in return for the unjust decision.
Thursday’s ruling was made contrary to the demands of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) deputies for the immediate release from detention of all political prisoners, led by former deputy Grigory Petrenko.
Thus, with regard to political prisoners Grigory Petrenko, Mikhail Amerberg and Pavel Grigorchuk, preventive arrest was extended for another 45 days, until December 20.
The arrest of the other four political prisoners — Alexander Roshko, Oleg Buzni, Andrey Druz and Vladimir Zhurat — was extended for 30 days.
The leader of the opposition party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc), former MP and honorary member of PACE Grigory Petrenko was among seven protesters forcibly detained by police on September 6 after a protest in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office and an attempt to set up tents on the sidewalk in front of the building for a peaceful, ongoing protest against the oligarchic regime. All of them have been in jail since September 6.
Translated by Greg Butterfield