Lawyer: Moldovan regime mocks political prisoners by delaying trial

The court hearing which was to begin considering the merits of the case of the political prisoners from the Petrenko Group on Tuesday, November 24, was postponed because representatives of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions (DPI) failed to bring the prisoners to court.

Call for supporters to rally in solidarity with Petrenko Group political prisoners on Nov. 24.
According to lawyer Ana Ursachi, “today the regime again resorted to delaying the trial” to prevent the defense from presenting its arguments, “which would lead to the release of the political prisoners arrested on false charges.”

“The regime mocks the political prisoners: they simply are not brought to trial. [Oligarch Vlad] Plahotniuc mocks them; it was his right-hand man, head of the DPI Alexander Pynzar – an obedient lackey of the Democratic Party, a disreputable character himself facing criminal charges — who ordered that the political prisoners not be brought to court.

“Consideration of the merits of the case did not begin today,” declared the lawyer, noting that “after Pynzar was appointed head of the DPI, the agency began to put pressure on Grigory Petrenko.”

According to the lawyer, even if there was an “imaginary victory today for Plahotniuc’s side,” the Petrenko case brought on Plahotniuc’s behalf is an abscess that will soon explode.

“Pynzar, the DPI, Plahotniuc and his servants, all harm the image of Moldova. The behavior of the DPI representatives will not go unpunished; tomorrow in Strasbourg at a meeting of the European Parliament, I will report on the situation in detail,” added the lawyer.

The date of the next hearing is not yet known.

On November 24 the Centru sector court in Chisinau was to begin consideration of the merits of the case against the political prisoners led by former deputy and honorary member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Grigory Petrenko.

Several members and activists of the opposition party Red Bloc, headed by Grigory Petrenko, have been under arrest since September 6 following a peaceful protest in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office against the oligarchic regime.

The detention and arrest of the protesters sparked criticism from international organizations, European institutions, and politicians in several countries, who demanded their immediate release from custody.

Within the framework of the PACE autumn session, 32 deputies from all factions, representing 20 countries, signed a written declaration on the “Petrenko case,” in which they “clearly demand from Moldova the immediate release of all political prisoners.”

Thus, according to lawyers, PACE recognized Grigory Petrenko and his comrades as “political prisoners” and oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc as “threat to democracy.”

Moreover, on the initiative of the European United Left / Left-Green North (GUE/NGL), the European Parliament will consider a request for the immediate release of the Petrenko Group political prisoners at the next meeting of European deputies.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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