Moldova: Court extends repression against Petrenko Group into 2017

December 27: Members of the so-called Petrenko Group will be under judicial control for another 30 days. [This measure of preventive detention bans the activists of the opposition party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) from attending protests and traveling abroad, among other restrictions.] The decision was taken by the Riscani sector court in the capital after the judicial panel upheld the request of prosecutors. Lawyers and defendants were outraged by the decision and said it was unjustified. 

Grigory Petrenko (center) speaks in court.

In addition to the prosecutors, one of the defendants made a request. Mikhail Amerberg requested the return of personal items that were taken at the time of his detention. He also asked for permission to go on holiday abroad with his family. The first request will be considered at the next hearing, and the second was dismissed as unfounded.

One of the lawyers said that the decision to extend the preventive measures is intended to intimidate the defendants.

Grigory Petrenko says that the case is a political one, and a statement to this effect was made by foreign partners of Moldova.

The next hearing will be held on January 26. Recall that former parliamentary deputy Grigory Petrenko and eight other participants in a protest outside the Prosecutor General’s Office were detained on September 6, 2015, accused of organizing mass disorder. In February 2016 they were placed under house arrest, and since April are being investigated under judicial control. 


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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