Friday, March 5, 2010

Try Again, CSM

Dorin Popovici, the 'judge from hell', has just been given a 'severe reprimand' by the disciplinary committee of the Superior Council of Magistrates.

For those of you who don't know the case, this is the judge who handed out summary justice to the young people rounded up by the security services in the aftermath of April 7th 2009.  What Popovici and his fellow judges did that day in the service of the Communist party was really awful:

  1. In a single afternoon, Popovici examined 32 administrative files and 10 applications for disciplinary measures.  If we assume he worked five hours; then he spent an average of seven minutes on each case.
  2. The 'trials' were carried out in the Police headquarters, not in the court.
  3. Defendants were represented by a court-appointed lawyer, who they had never met prior to the 'trial', who made no effort to defend them and who subsequently disappeared.
  4. Defendants were denied the right to appeal their sentences, being forced to sign acceptances late into the night after the trial.
  5. Some of the defendants were minors
  6. Some of the defendants weren't even participants in the protests
  7. Mothers of dependent children were locked up, against the prevailing law
Such kangaroo courts which deny basic legal rights to the accused are a disgrace in the 21st century.  If the Moldovan courts are to clean up their act and be fit for a country planning to join the EU, then the CSM needs to do far more that slap Mr Popovici on the back of the hand with a wet bus ticket.  Not only should he and his accomplices be summarily dismissed from their profession, their cases should also be referred to the Prosecutor for trial.

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