Prosecutor’s general office responded to requests from journalists and civil society to make a lawsuit of the former Prime Minister Vlad Filat public.
The official reply from the prosecutor's office said that the decision to make the court hearings closed was accepted by the court instance on the basis of the arguments of the prosecutor. According to the prosecutor, he can’t allow to this lawsuit to place in jeopardy the cases in relation to other crimes of Vlad Filat, which is now under consideration by the Anticorruption prosecutor’s office. The possibility of holding the closed court session has also the legal framework and regulated by Article 18, paragraph (2) of the Procedure code of Moldova:
«Access to the session hall may be prohibited by the reasoned ruling for the press or the public throughout the whole process or some part of it only in the interests of morality, public order or national security in cases arising from the interests of minors or the need to protect the privacy of the process sides, or, to the extent that is regarded by the court as being strictly necessary, in the case when, due to special circumstances, publicity could damage the interests of justice».
Prosecutors also have mentioned that the witnesses who will be heard, can tell the evidences of guilt of Filat and relevant to the criminal case, which is still in the process of investigation. If we bring them to public, the press can make hasty conclusions, as well as compromise some evidences.
That is why prosecutors must provide the concealed nature of the court session. According to the law, the Filat criminal case is only a part of a larger investigation of the theft from the Banca de Economii.
The proposal that the meeting will be private is temporary - until the end of investigation or until the occurrence of the circumstances which exclude risks to its stroke. As soon as the opportunity arises, prosecutors said, they will provide the information, let even partially.
Prosecutors also made reference to the precedent of a closed lawsuit against the head of «Caravita & Co» and «Bussiness Estate Investments» company, when for a private court session were the same reasons as in the case with Filat.
It was also mentioned that the decision on whether the litigation is private, is taken in the court instance on the proposal of the parties. In the Filat case, none of the parties has filed a counter-petition for a public examination of the case.
The right to a public hearing is a tool to strengthen public confidence to the judicial system.
The requirement that the court session will be open was put forward by civil society in a public statement: «The right to a public hearing is a tool to strengthen public confidence to the judicial system».
Earlier, Vlad Filat lawyer Igor Popa, said that the hearings should be public: We called for the process to be made public as it is a resonant case and so I and my client want that people will receive direct information and be aware of the progress of the case. Prosecutors moved for the court session will be anyway closed. We believe that it violates the rights of citizens. The law says that if the principle of transparency in court isn’t respected such decisions have no force. Moreover, the European Commission of Human Rights condemns these violations of judicial procedure». However, the lawyer protest was rejected.