The fight, which took place more than 10 days ago in front of a night club in Chisinau, resulting in a death, remains the main focus for all Moldovan media. The tragedy is enormous for both camps: a man died at just 30, a seven-year-old child was left without a father, a mother was left without a son. On the other hand, two young, performance athletes, with a promising future, have reached the prison cell. And here the suffering of the near ones is immense, especially as the whole society has directed all their hatred against them, labeling them as murderers.
It's about the night of May 19, at the "Edgo" Nightclub in Chisinau, when Sergiu Bejenari from Orhei was beaten with bestiality, and died on the sixth day in a deep coma.
A few hours after his death, on May 25, the case comes to the attention of the press. In the evening, Alisa Ceraniova, the concubine of the deceased husband, provides phone calls to the media in which she claims that her husband was killed by a K-1 fighter who was tied to a girl.
That same evening, Curaj.TV published a tear-off message, signed by Alisa Ceraniova: "My name is Alisa, a 29-year-old widow, with a child without a father of just seven years old. I'm in a state where I can not find my thoughts, dreams, and memories. I can only pray to God to help me in my situation. I’m sitting in bed and looking into the eyes of my child, who are tired and full of pain and suffering for a few hours, who can’t actually still understand the essence of my tears."
Finally, the woman announces that the name of the person who murdered her husband is Aurel Ignat, a K-1 fighter.
After this message, the wide coverage of the case begins. We also contacted Alisa Ceraniova. The woman told us that on the evening of May 18, her husband left for a friend's birthday. She was also invited, but she did not go because she was tired. Early in the morning, she was called by the victim's brother, who announced her husband was in a coma and underwent surgery. Ceraniova confirmed that Sergiu Bejenari was beaten by Aurel Ignat and some of his buddies.
The woman also told us that she lives in Chisinau, renting an apartment, that she earns her existence as a salesman on the Central Market, and Sergiu Bejenari has not been working lately for health reasons.
Who are the suspects?
Soon this case gets resonant. Aurel Ignat is labeled on social networks as "killer" and "murderer". On May 26th, the press announces the arrest of the first suspect, Mihai Pârgaru, a 20-year-old K-1 fighter who trains at the Sports Club C.Tuţu - PRO Team, belonging to the controversial PDM deputy, Constantin Ţuţu.
On social networks, the athlete appears in several pictures with deputy Ţuţu, but also in T-shirts with the PDM logo on it.
The next day, the press also announces the arrest of 22-year-old Aurel Ignat, a member of the Champion Thai Gym wrestling club on Vadul lui Voda Street in Chişinău, chaired by coach Nicanor Trocin.
On social networks Aurel Ignat presents himself as a godly person and poses pictures of pilgrimages to different churches and monasteries.
In December 2016, Aurel Ignat won the KOK World Grand Prix gala, which took place in Chisinau, gaining the right to have it as an opponent on the ring, the 85-kilogram champion belt holder, Constantin Ţuţu. Then, Tutu announces the conclusion of his sports career, giving Aurel Ignat's belt without a fight: "I know Ignat very well. I know he's a good, prosperous, persevering athlete, he works a lot, he's a patriot, so I decided to give him the belt."
Dorin Damir, the president of the K-1 FEA Fight Federation, made a public statement that the two athletes are not part of the association he leads, and Pergaru does not even know him.
People from Aurel Ignat's entourage told us that the athlete would have refused to sign a contract with Damir because he would not have understood his pay. The same sources say that Aurel Ignat negotiates a contract with a sports club outside the country.
However, these links of the two athletes with Democrat Constantin Ţuţu determined that the Egdo-club scandal should take a political turn. Several opposition political leaders made harsh statements about Bejenari's death, severely accusing the athletes, coaches and, in particular, the government.
The third suspect would be Eugen Deliu, a fan and friend of Aurel Ignat. According to sources, he was not an athlete, but he was one of the spectators of the K-1 gala. The young man is from Chisinau, and his parents would have more stalls at a market in the capital. Witnesses say that Eugen, whom everybody called Jenea, was shaken that night, was hitting on girls, spoke brutally. Some argue that Jenea would have been the one who hit on the young woman of Sergiu Bejenari's entourage.
In a video made at midnight, Jenea and Aurel are dancing, and the latter, which seems quite calm, gives Jenea his hat.
Who is the injured party?
Sergiu Bejenari came to Egdo-club together with his older brother, Ivan, and the officer of the National Patrolled Inspectorate, Sergiu Bradu, accompanied by three girls, who then presented themselves as their friends. They were joined by another well-known resident from a suburb of the capital, and his girlfriend. Of the testimony of several witnesses, there would have been no birthday party, the three had come to have fun, and the fourth man who would not have drunk alcohol, would have been the driver.
Sergiu Bradu is a group commander at INP, the Ciocana Company of the Patrol Brigade No. 2 Battalion, starting September 26, 2016, having a modest salary of over 7,000 lei a month.
Sergiu Bradu and his girlfriend
Ivan Bejenari, the brother of the deceased man, has served a prison sentence of several, according to sources, for money forgery. Currently, Ivan Bejenari has several criminal cases, especially for domestic violence.
The victim, Sergiu Bejenari, is under judicial control. The man had a dossier for drunk driving. Another file, for swindling, is in the criminal prosecution phase at the Botanica police in the capital.
Sergiu Bejenari and Alisa Ceraniova. Source: Facebook.com
The denunciation was made by a former Bejenari's girlfriend, who says she broke up with Sergiu almost three years ago:| “We have been dating for almost three years until I have accepted his friendship. He was very kind, a sympathetic and courteous man like any girl wants. He met my parents and relatives, and Sergiu said he had serious intentions and wants to start a family with me. I did not know he was in a serious relationship and had a baby. He told me he had some boutiques in the Central Square and he also wanted me to buy one. I gave him 4,000 euros, but I did not see the money or the boutique. Originally he was giving me gifts, then started asking for money from me under different pretexts, but that I had to buy the goods, that he had problems with the tax, etc. Then I realized he had nothing. I never saw the money back, and then I heard he'd cheated on more people and had a problem with the drugs. However, it does not mean that he has to be killed and I really feel sorry for having such a death."
Other people who met Sergiu Bejenari, friends, relatives and neighbors in his neighborhood, claim that he was a nice, good-hearted man, had no vices and dreamed to provide for a good future for his child.
A woman, who introduced herself as Sergiu and Alisa’s godmother, told us that he was a man with common sense and often met for family celebrations.
Olga Dragutan, the godmother
Another woman, who told us she was the patron of Alisa at the Central Square, told us that she knew Sergiu as a quiet man. The woman said she was the author of the message posted on behalf of Alise on Curaj TV and that she did this because she wanted to justice to be made: "As in Braguţa's case, if this case did not reach the media, the police would not do anything, and the criminals would be released."
Alisa's boss also showed indignation that his subordinate paid for two days of Sergiu's hospitalization 4800 lei and that he had to buy a medical insurance policy, which cost him over 4,000 lei: "These are enormous money for her".
As for the girls, who accompanied the injured parties that night, they are up to 20 years of age and are students at different institutions in Chisinau. They appear in several pictures, having multiple pages on social networks. The pictures show that girls were bohemian, and the Egdo-club was the favorite place for entertainment.
One of the girls
What do the witnesses of the injured party say?
The witness claims are contradictory. The first witnesse who made statements, including to the press, are the girls who accompanied the victim. The first press statement made by one of the girls sounds like this: "We went into the club, we stayed there, served some drinks, we had fun, after which a friend of ours went outside. At that moment, as I understand, the man in question Ignat Aurel spoke to her, and the girl was not too pleased. Then a friend of the deceased came to defend her. I was not present during the first fight. We all came back, we sat down again at the table, where at about 2:00 to 3:00, Aurel Ignat came back. He most likely had changed because he was already dressed in sports clothes. Here it is clear that it was for a particular purpose that he returned to the club. He returned to the club and when I saw that they all went out, I went out too, in about three minutes. When I left, I already saw that they were fight fisting. The first knock was given to Ignat, Sergiu's friend. That one fell down, and after that Sergiu came in. And here's the fight. Sergius fell down, they were several, took advantage of the moment, and hit him with their feet in the abdomen, the head and the other parts of his body. Of all I've seen Ignat Aurel, has hit him the most. I generally did not know who he is, I saw him on social networks, I searched on Facebook and saw him as a champion. He was the one who beat Sergiu most. When I turned my head, I saw Sergiu on the right side already lying down. There were a lot of people around him and waiting for the ambulance and the police."
Jurnal TV presented the statements of another witness, who would also have the status of injured party in the file. She told journalists that at one point, "she went out for a while, and three young people approached her, including Aurel Ignat, a K-1 fighter. He proposed her to go with them. The young woman refused, and a sudden reaction followed. The girl says she was thrown to the ground by Aurel Ignat. She fractured her arm, while falling. Aurel Ignat and his two friends fled as soon as they saw the local guards."
According to several sources, this would be the girl who accompanied the policeman Sergiu Bradu.
Ivan Bejenari refused to speak, motivating that he did not remember anything because he was beaten in the head area. Instead, the victim's brother introduced us to a young woman and said she was a witness.
The young woman, named D., told the journalists:"Aurel Ignat came back again, most likely he changed and he already came there with a purpose, he got in and saw how Sergiu's friend and Sergiu went out, it seemed to me very suspicious and I went out too. I personally saw how Ignat gave his first fist to Sergiu's friend. Sergiu's friend fell down, after which Sergiu intervened. There was a big fight in which Sergiu fell down, they were more people - about 6-7, and I only saw Ignat as he hit him with his feet in the abdomen, the head and various parts of his body. When I turned my head, Sergius was already lying in a pool of blood."
During the private discussion we had with D., she said that Ignat was hit with a bat: "I have not told anyone yet about this. When they saw that Ignat is killing Sergiu and could not be stopped, someone brought a bat and hit him."
The girl told us that she saw Mihai Pârgaru there, but he did not notice Bejenari striking him.
D. also said that both, the police and the ambulance came late, in about 40 minutes, when Sergiu almost did not breathe.
Asked what her girlfriend did after she was taken by athletes, she says she came back to the table and even there was a quarrel between her and Bradu. When I asked her to tell when she was given medical help to her friend, she told us that it was when they took Sergiu to the hospital.
Asked how she knew Aurel Ignat, D. told us that after Sergiu was beaten, she was approached by "one of his own" and told her not to tell the police about Ignat.
The girl told us that she was in danger, and that there was an athletic young man in front of the apartment building who was interested in selling an apartment there: "But there is certainly no apartment for sale."
The next day I called D. for some details. The girl told us she could talk, but when I asked her about the bat, she handed the phone to a man who appeared as Vanea Bejenari: "Are you my lawyer? Why did you tell me and her that you're my lawyer? What is your editorial board? I'll come to you tomorrow with my lawyer. And don’t you dare to disturb her calling this number again!"
The officer Bradu categorically refused to talk, "Goodbye, do not bother me anymore."
What do the suspects’ witnesses say?
There is another category of witnesses who argue that Aurel Ignat would have been the one attacked. They confirm that the athlete participated in the fight but claim that it is not him who killed Sergiu Bejenari and in fact, the athlete was attacked first. According to the witnesses, while four people were beating Bejenari with bestiality, Aurel was on the other side of the road, fleeing Ivan. The athlete would have approached the victim already when it was almost breathless but did not hit him.
The witnesses say that Aurel Ignat was in a state of drunkenness, but it was not aggressive. Likewise, they claim that the scandal indeed started because of a girl, but the matter is quite different. The young woman was sitting on a curb and smoking. Aurel passed her by with a boy dressed in a red sports suit. The latter would have told the girl not to stay alone and to go with them. Then, a friend of the girl came out, the policeman Bradu, who started the scandal. The spirits have calmed down quickly and each has returned to their circle. Later, at 3am, Aurel was about to leave and went to the bathroom where he met with Sergiu Bradu. The last one would have stard an argument for hitting on his girlfriend. Then the local guards came in and pulled them apart.
At the exit, Ignat was attacked by three people, one of whom hit him several times with a rubber stick, of those the police usually have. An eyewitness took their baton and ave it to the guard. Some witnesses assert that Ignat still applied a shot to Sergiu Bejenari, he fell down, then stood up. Meanwhile, Aurel reached the one dressed in white (Ivan Bejenari) and took him to his fists.
According to the witnesses, Sergiu Bejenari was dressed in dark clothes. Aurel Ignat was dressed in a dark t-shirt, short-sleeved jacket and a hat. Jenea Deliu, was dressed in red sport clothes. Witnesses say that Aurel has not gone anywhere from the club and that all this time he one floor upstairs.
The same witnesses also say that they were all drunk, there were more beating groups, and some, most likely, did not even know what they were fighting for.
The witness Ion’s statement:
Another witness, named Vasile, left for London shortly after what happened at Edgo-club. He returned from the UK to make statements for the investigation. The witness says he met Sergiu Bejenari.
He claims to have seen when he went out as four people attacked Ignat. The witness Vasile says that Sergiu Bejenari hit the sportsman with the stick. He does not exclude the fact that Ignat hit Sergiu Bejenari, but he says that the last one got up after that blow, and the athlete went after Ivan. He also says that Aurel Ignat would have grabbed his neck, believing he was one of the aggressors.
The witness shows that the initiator of the scandal would be the cop, who liked to show off.
The fact that Aurel Ignat was assaulted first is also confirmed by one of the guards who made statements for the investigation.
That evening, Aurel Ignat was accompanied by his girlfriend Angela, with whom he has been in a two-year relationship.
The young woman says she did not see the beating, at that moment she was upstairs and was paying the check, and that Aurel went down to the bathroom. The young woman says Aurel was calm, although they had a little misunderstanding about a girl. Ignat's girlfriend denies that he left the place and changed his clothes.
The day after the beating, Aurel Ignat went to hospital, where he stayed until May 24, with cerebral concussion and contusions.
Ignat at the hospital
Another witness, who seems to be a minor, said that after the doctors took Sergiu Bejenari, he was taken by Jenea into a Skoda car and told him it was not him who beat the man.
According to sources, when Ignat was arrested, someone who had connections with the Deliu family advised him to fully admit the guilt, and that they would take care of him to get him out of jail sooner.
A friend of Aurel Ignat, who asked for anonymity, told us that on May 26th he was visited at work by the athlete. He told him he did not kill anyone, he admitted he had hit Bejenari once, but he got up afterwards.
The witness also said that Ignat came to him with a car, at the wheel of which was a boy named Jenea, who was also at the disco that night. This Jenea would have advised Ignat to leave the country. "I listened to Aurel and advised him not to do anything, unless he was guilty of murder, and surrendered to the police. The next day he went to make statements and was detained. I do not want to be someone's lawyer, but I want everyone to get their punishment as deserved," the witness told us.
What do the law people say?
The file is under the auspices of the prosecutor Angela Plesca, who announced that the suspects are being criminalized for the hooliganism offense and causing body injuries that resulted in the death of a person.
Sources close to the investigation have told us that the circumstances are unclear and that the charge brought to Ignat and Pergaru is based on the testimonies of the girls who were in the victim's entourage that evening. "Ignat says one, and the girls say such things that we had no choice but to detain him. But we have a lot of work to do, we're going to identify witnesses and look at the high-pitched videos from both, the Atrium Center cameras and the cameras on the nearby buildings," a policeman told us.
Oleg Lozan, one of Ignat's lawyers, said during the trial, in which the arrest warrant for his client was issued, that it was not justified to prosecute the offense until the expertise had been completed. On the other hand, the defender argues, there is no evidence that Bejenari died because of the injuries specifically inflicted by Ignat. "16 people participated in that fight. It has not been established who, how and to whom he beat," said the defender. Oleg Lozan also claimed that Ignat had voluntarily surrendered, and if he wanted to leave the country, he had done it a long time ago.
The prosecutor Pleşca rejected these arguments: "He was released from the hospital on May 24 but surrendered on May 27." Another argument put forward by the prosecution is that this is a case of resonance.
Sure, we can’t possibly say that someone is guilty or not. There has been a murder and someone has to answer. But there are several questions.
Ivan Bejenari claims he was beaten. One week after the incident, he looked healthy, with only a scratch at the temple. So did the girl who said she had two fractures, who did not seem to be affected. Even though she was dressed in a jacket, we did not notice that the young woman had a hand in plaster. The question arises as to why the girl, although she claims to have broken her arm, did not ask for medical help but returned to the local area and continued to have fun.
Why being interviewed at the hospital, Bradu and Ivan Bejenari refused to complain and said they fell off the stairs. Ivan Bejenari and the police officer Sergiu Bradu participated in the altercations. Will they be accused of hooliganism? We found out that Officer Bradu has returned to work. Has the IPN leadership acted? At least, was there an internal investigation initiated? Was the rubber stick raised and sent to expertise? Who is the owner of the weapon? Where is the mysterious Jenea Deliu? If he is innocent, why didn’t he go to the police yet for statements?
There are questions to be elucidated during the investigation, which we assume will be a lasting one.
And while some are trying to make some profits and even make political capital from this tragedy, those who sincerely loved Sergiu Bejenari suffer enormously, because of his death. Those who sincerely love the two athletes also suffer, for they ended up behind bars and have already been condemned by the society.