Moldova: EU deputies provide personal guarantees for Petrenko’s release

Four deputies of the European Union have provided personal guarantees in favor of Moldovan political prisoner Grigory Petrenko and demanded his unconditional release.

Political prisoner Grigory Petrenko
This was announced on Friday, January 15, by Ana Ursachi, attorney for the political prisoner, who noted that “developments have taken place in the case of the Petrenko group political prisoners. There is news of social importance that everyone should know.”

“On January 12 and 13, four high-ranking officials of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, members of parliament in their countries, including the German Bundestag, signed a declaration of personal guarantees in favor of Grigory Petrenko, demanding from Moldovan authorities and the Riscani sector judges who will hear the case starting Monday, January 18, the unconditional release of Grigory Petrenko,” said Ana Ursachi.

According to the lawyer, “personal guarantee is a method of preventive measures which is provided for in two articles of our Criminal Code.”

“If a well-known person with unquestionable legitimacy declares in favor of an arrested person and becomes their guarantor, and submits an amount equal to 50 euros to the court, the person shall be released. It’s the law, and in Grigory Petrenko’s case well-known personalities have already submitted guarantees, but they were from Moldova. And the court rejected this. Moreover, they tried to hide it. 

“Now, however, four well-known personalities with undisputed authority bestowed by the European Union, four European officials, have challenged [oligarch Vlad] Plahotniuc, guaranteeing on their own authority that Grigory Petrenko — a political prisoner of the Moldovan regime — should be released,” added the lawyer.

Four European officials presented guarantees for Grigory Petrenko:

  • Helmut Scholz – Member of European Parliament, member of the European United Left.
  • Gabriele Zimmer – MEP, Chair of the Group of the European United Left. (GUE / NGL).
  • Tiny Kox – leader of the Dutch Senate, Chair of the United Left group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
  • Andrej Hunko, member of PACE, MP of the German Bundestag.

Recall that several members and activists of the opposition party “Red Bloc,” headed by former deputy and honorary member of PACE Grigory Petrenko, have been under arrest since September 6, 2015, following a peaceful protest in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Chisinau against the oligarchic regime.

The arrest and detention 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 “demand from Moldova the immediate release of all political prisoners.” Thus, according to lawyers, PACE recognized jailed Grigory Petrenko as a “political prisoner” and oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc as a “threat to democracy.”

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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