The Head of Security Service, along with two officers of the Supervision Service of Prison no. 13, have been found guilty of inhuman and degrading treatment of two detainees.
The Supreme Court of Justice upheld the sentences, imposed on the three officers of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions (DPI), previously convicted for inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners. The prosecution proved their guilt, though 2 years ago the Chisinau Military Court acquitted them on all counts.
According to the prosecutors, officers of prison no. 13 tortured two prison detainees, applying more than 40 blows with fists, feet and batons for alleged acts of disobedience. Following that cruel treatment, the victims had injuries all over their bodies.
This case became known following a complaint, lodged by one of the victims. The Prosecution Office started investigations and initiated a criminal case, documenting the illegal actions of mistreatment of detainees, carried out by those prison officers. Being questioned by prosecutors, the defendants did not admit their guilt.
Then prosecutors filed an application with the leadership of the DPI, requesting temporary suspension from office of the three employees accused of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. However, the prosecutor’s application was rejected on account of "personal crisis".
On December 30, 2014, the Chisinau Military Court acquitted the three employees of the DPI on the grounds that their acts do not constitute an infraction. The prosecutors appealed that sentence as being illegal, requiring defendants’ sentencing to prison. They gathered enough evidence that revealed the guilt of the three prison officers, including video recordings of acts of violence.
At the end of 2015, the Chisinau Court of Appeal upheld the prosecutors’ appeal, quashed the sentence of the first instance and issued a new judgment, which found the officers of the DPI guilty and sentenced the head of Security Service to 4 years of imprisonment, and the officers of Supervision Service to 3 years.
All of them were denied the right to work in the field for a period of 5 years.
Dissatisfied with the sentence, the defendants challenged it to a higher court, asking to be acquitted. The Supreme Court of Justice rejected their appeal, maintaining the previously imposed penalties.
The decision of the Supreme Court was pronounced in absentia. If the defendants evade the enforcement of the sentences, they will be announced wanted. The decision of the Supreme Court is irrevocable.