Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gumenita walks

This morning we have witnessed another failure of Moldovan justice, with the Buiucani district court releasing former deputy police commissioner Iacob Gumenita from home arrest and allowing him to be 'investigated at liberty' with respect to his role in the events of April 7th / 8th 2009.

Remember, this is the guy caught on video kicking protester Damien Hancu several times, as well as participating in the events which led to the death of Valeriu Boboc.

Wikipedia lists the typical reasons for keeping a suspect in remand as

  • the suspect has been accused of carrying out a particularly serious offence
  • the suspect having previous convictions for similar offences
  • reasons to believe the suspect could leave the court's jurisdiction to avoid its trial and possible punishment
  • reasons to believe the suspect may destroy evidence or interfere with witnesses
  • the suspect is likely to commit further offences before the trial
  • the suspect is believed to be in danger from accomplices, victims, or vigilantes

In Gumenita's case, bullet points one and four clearly apply.  He is being investigated as an accessory to murder and for grievous bodily harm.  He is a man with strong connections in the police force and elsewhere and is likely to use them to try to close down the prosecution's case.

The Buiucani court has mad a grave error in letting Gumenita go free.  Note that this is the same court which kept Anatol Matasaru locked up for months last year on the flimsiest of evidence, so there is a clear double standard operating here.

This is Ion Muruianu's justice system, not that of the people of Moldova.  It's not the rule of law so much as the rule of lawyers, attacking the weak and protecting the strong.  It needs comprehensive reform, and that can only happen when the current structures and leadership of the Superior Magistrates Council and the Constitutional Court are disestablished by referendum.

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