Moldova: Prosecution witnesses refute case against Petrenko Group

March 14: Prosecution witnesses who were questioned on Monday, March 14, as part of a new hearing in the case of the political prisoners, destroyed the prosecutors’ version of the threat supposedly presented by Grigory Petrenko and other protesters arrested on September 6, 2015, for taking part in anti-oligarchy protests in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Chisinau, Moldova.

This was stated to MoldNews Agency by Ana Ursachi, attorney for the political prisoners, at the conclusion of the trial session.

Solidarity with Petrenko Group at ‘Day of Peace and Solidarity’
protest in New York on March 13.
Photo by Greg Butterfield
“Today, we listened to the fifth so-called victim, a policeman and prosecution witness, who ruined the version of prosecutors. The policeman confirmed the absence of claims, the same as previous witnesses. He said Grigory Petrenko and the other protesters (later arrested – Ed.) Did not represent a threat to the police, and that there was no attempt to trash public buildings, as the prosecution claimed. In such a situation, it’s not clear at all why he still appears as the injured party,” said Ana Ursachi.

According to her, “the police statement provoked a tantrum by prosecutor Nicolai Sendri, who was allowed to yell at his own witness, presenting his ‘evidence’ in the case.”

The lawyer added that “this once again confirmed that the case against Grigory Petrenko and his comrades was fabricated on the orders of oligarch [Vlad] Plahotniuc,” and that “the matter is quite transparent” and “shows itself devoid of any legal basis, being a strictly political case.”

Ursachi also said that all this was heard by representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Moldova, who attended the court session on the case of the Petrenko Group political prisoners.

The next hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 15, at the Riscani Sector Court, starting at 11.00.

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 against the oligarchic regime in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

On February 22, after nearly six months of detention in prison, the political prisoners led by former deputy Grigory Petrenko were transferred to house arrest.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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