Eduard Babliuc, former communist Member of the Parliament in 1998-2001, was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for having illegally distributed premises to certain artists, while being head of household department of the Palace of Culture of Railway Workers.
moldnova.eu, a court judgment reveals that Eduard Babliuc gave his consent to Euro-Moldova Art Association, led by Elena Burghila and the famous artist Ion Suruceanu, to occupy several premises of the Palace of Culture of Railway Workers. Two premises with an area of 30.1 square meters and of 77.5 square meters are involved. Being in the position of director of this institution, Babliuc damaged the state by 215 989 lei.
In 2008-2010, the two artists used these premises without concluding any lease contracts. It was made by order of state officials, specifically, Victor Stepaniuc.
The former vice prime minister denies his involvement in this affair, although Taisia Basiul, a representative of the Palace, said, "Gagauz, Voronin and Stepaniuc called with respect to those offices."
Elena Burghila testified that she had received that office in 2007-2009, by instructions of Stepaniuc. Babliuc, in his turn, said there was no need for a tenancy contract, because that was the order of the former vice prime minister and Director of Railways. The artists declared in court that had not paid for the premises used, but they organized many free concerts for the employees of the Moldovan Railways, according to the same source.
Babliuc was charged administrative excess because he did not have the right to provide for rent or use the premises within the Palace of Culture of Railway Workers, which is supervised by the leadership of Moldovan Railways, an institution, headed at that time by Miron Gagauz. Babliuc pleaded not guilty, he told how in 2007, the former vice prime minister Victor Stepaniuc called him and asked about the rent of premises in the Palace and later, Gagauz asked him to seek offices for Elena Burghila and Ion Suruceanu, managers of "Caravan of Culture" and "Euro-Moldova Art" projects.
Judges at the Chisinau Court of Appeal decided in July 2015 that Eduard Babliuc be sentenced to six years of imprisonment with disqualification to hold public office for a period of three years.