Moldova: Court extends judicial control over Petrenko Group, in violation of Constitution

Chisinau, Moldova, March 28: The Riscani Sector Court extended preventive measures in the form of judicial control over the Petrenko Group, despite the fact that the decision at odds with the Constitution. This was announced by Roman Aronov, attorney for the Petrenko Group, after the court hearing on March 27.

“The caricature of justice in the Petrenko Group case, unfortunately, continues. We were convinced of this when the court supported the motion of the prosecutors to extend judicial control for another 30 days,” Aronov said.

Grigory Petrenko (center) escorted by police in court.
According to him, the decision of the court is contrary to the decision of the Constitutional Court, according to which preventive measures cannot exceed one year. As a result, according to the decision of the judges, the Petrenko Group will be under judicial control until May 2, that is, over one year.

Recall that former deputy and leader of the opposition party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) Grigory Petrenko and his comrades were arrested after participating in an anti-oligarchy protest in September 2015. After more than six months in prison and two months under house arrest, the Petrenko group was placed under judicial control, but with a number of restrictions, including a ban on participating in protest actions and leaving the city of Chisinau (later the territory of Moldova).

Judicial control has been extended on a monthly basis at the request of prosecutors. Members of the Petrenko group were recognized as “political prisoners” in a U.S. State Department report on human rights, by representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the German Federal Government.


Petrenko: Court admits any Moldovan citizen’s rights can be restricted indefinitely

March 28: This was stated by Grigory Petrenko, former parliamentary deputy and chair of the party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc), after the hearing held in the case of the Petrenko Group.

“Today, the Riscani Sector Court violated the decision of the Constitutional Court on judicial control and the maximum terms of such a preventive measure. Today during the hearing we presented sufficient arguments with reference to the Constitutional Court,” Petrenko said.

According to the former deputy, the court in fact admitted that judicial control can be applied to citizens indefinitely, “which runs counter to the decision of the Constitutional Court.”

“The Riscani court actually admitted that the rights of Moldovan citizens can be limited by the court endlessly. This is something new in Moldovan jurisprudence, in European practice,” Petrenko said.

He stressed that the Petrenko Group is limited in a number of civil rights: “We have no right to leave the country, to protest, which is already a precedent for Moldova, and by this decision the Riscani Court extended this restriction indefinitely.”

At the same time, the former deputy drew attention to the “efficiency” of the court’s work: “They managed to write 11 pages in half an hour, arguing for this nonsense. This again suggests that the decision was made in advance, as they knew that the deadline for judicial control had expired.”


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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