Brussels, 5 June 2018
Statement on the Intimidation of Veaceslav Negruta
Veaceslav Negruta, an expert of Transparency International Moldova, has come under increasing pressure from the current government representatives. His former advisor was arrested two months ago and is being forced by the law enforcement agencies to testify against Mr. Negruta on fabricated charges related to a bid for a public contract with a company issuing passports.
Veaceslav Negruta served as the Minister of Finance of Moldova in 2009-2013. While being part of the government, he noticed irregularities in the banking system some time before the 1 billion USD bank fraud took place. In April and June 2012, he urged the Parliament and the Supreme Security Council of the President respectively to adopt measures preventing infringements. As for his stand against corruption, he became an inconvenient person for those who were planning the fraud and therefore several ways of removing him from the office were plotted, including a staged car accident.
In July 2012, as those plans were unsuccessful, a criminal case against Mr. Negruta was initiated, while the judge chairing the case in the Court of Appeal was the brother-in-law of the main Moldovan oligarch. Despite the groundless accusations, the Court ruled on a suspended sentence of three years in prison for Mr. Negruta.
In the meantime, Mr. Negruta resigned from his position in protest against the developments in the banking system in Moldova and their expected implications for the financial system, keeping a strong stance on the financial system violations in Moldova.
Subsequently, Mr. Negruta contested the decision of the national law court in the European Court of Human Rights.
Transparency International Moldova hired Mr. Negruta in 2016. He has been working on the Public Policies Observer, including the opinions on legal initiatives in the economic field that may damage public interest. In the framework of these activities, he raised, among others, the following issues:
- money laundering of around 22 billion USD via the corrupt justice sector of Moldova;
- 1 billion USD fraud within the Moldovan banking system and the way it was planned by decision makers;
- burdening the Moldovan taxpayers with the state debt they will have to repay over the next 25 years as a result of the 1 billion USD theft
- attempts by the Moldovan governors to legalise the embezzled money via several initiatives that were covered up as business support schemes;
- attempts to relieve the responsible decision-makers of criminal liability for the bank fraud;
- contracting a private company to grant Moldovan citizenship in order to formally distance authorities from such practices as giving citizenship to members of criminal organisations that could conduct money laundering activities in Moldova.
- manipulating public opinion on the process of recovering the embezzled funds;
- concerns over the nationalisation of the controversial stock of shares in the commercial banks;
- Russia’s system of producing crypto-currency in Transnistrian region, which may facilitate money laundering in Moldova.
The EaP CSF Moldovan National Platform expresses its deep concern over the escalating pressure on the representatives of civil society fighting against corruption and state capture and urges the European Union institutions to take a strong stance on the situation in Moldova.
The Moldovan National Platform calls on the Moldovan authorities to stop attacks on civil society activists.
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Statement on the Intimidation of Veaceslav Negruta, an expert of Transparency International Moldova and former Minister of Finance, EaP CSF, 5 June 2018