Although prosecutors initiated 71 criminal cases for acts of torture that occurred in April 2009, so far, none of the perpetrators or decision makers of law enforcement agencies has been sentenced to real prison terms for atrocities, committed in April 2009, except Ion Perju, who was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment for the murder of Valeriu Boboc.

Initially, the Buiucani District Court of Chisinau acquitted Ion Perju. As it is known, he never got to jail, managing to escape and is now wanted internationally.

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Ion Perju. Sourse:

The criminal case for tortures of young people in April 2009, initiated against the former deputy police commissioner of Chisinau, Iacob Gumenita, is still in the offices of the Buiucani District Court, despite the fact that more than half a year ago prosecutors challenged his acquittal, decided by the magistrate Sergiu Lazar. So far, the decision on the acquittal of Gumenita has not been published on the institution's website.

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Iacob Gumenita. Source:

Alexandru Caraman, the prosecutor who handled the case, is surprised by the irresponsibility of the Buiucani District Court, "We have challenged the decision of the first instance and the case should have been sent to the Court of Appeal. We are perplexed and outraged by this attitude. It is very serious".

Chancellery employees, as well as the President of the Buiucani District Court, judge Dorin Dulghieru, said that the case was still in the office of judge Sergiu Lazar and they couldn’t  explain why it had not been sent to the Court of Appeal. However, Dulghieru promised to intervene and make sure that Gumenita’s case reach the Court of Appeal.

Judge Sergiu Lazar refused to provide any explanations.

The case, initiated against Iacob Gumenita, has been pending since summer 2010. The former police officer was accused of acting ultra vires during the events of April 2009. He was detained after the footage, filmed on the government building was made public, which showed how Gumenita was kicking young protesters.


The case involved ten injured parties. One of them is Damian Hancu, who during that period was a student at a university in France and came to Moldova for a short holiday.

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Damian Hancu. Source: ZdG

Hancu recognized Gumenita, who had been kicking him. The trial had been postponed several times. In April 2016, Sergiu Lazar acquitted Gumenita.

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Sergiu Lazar. Source:

Recently, the Court of Appeal upheld the acquittal of the former heads of Public Order Directorate under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Dumitru Rusu and Petru Corduneanu, who had been accused of mistreating the former deputy Valentina Cusnir.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Justice finally acquitted the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Gheorghe Papuc, and the former Commissioner of Chisinau, Vladimir Botnari. 

Vladimir Botnari şi Gheorghe Papuc
Vladimir Botnari and Gheorghe Papuc. Source:

Other cases, initiated against police officers for acts of torture that occurred in April 2009, are also pending in court, while the accused are advanced in ranks and positions. Thus, the former police officer, Igor Pintea, accused of torture in April 2009, was recently appointed head of Prison No. 13 in Chisinau. 

Another accomplice of his, Octavian Sirbu, is also employed in the penitentiary system.

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Octavian Sîrbu. Video capture

The case is pending in the Center District Court of Chisinau and has been postponed several times. 

Victims of torture of April 2009 denounced Ruslan Saakian, who at that time was head of criminal police of Chisinau. However, prosecutors dismissed the charges against him. Now, colonel Saakian occupies the position of head of the Police Inspectorate of Ciocana District, Chisinau.

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Ruslan Saakian. Source:

The criminal case, initiated in 2011 against the former deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Valentin Zubic had been quashed. In 2013, the court dismissed the charges against Zubic. Presently, Valentin Zubic is the manager of a company, owned by Vladimir Plahotniuc.

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Valentin Zubic. Source:

Colonel Sergiu Cociorva is among the police officers, who broke the law in April 2009. He was appointed Chief Commissioner of Chisinau, despite the fact that more than 500 people signed a petition against his designation. 

Sergiu Cociorva. Source:

The current Minister of Internal Affairs, Alexandru Jizdan, and the head of the General Inspectorate of Police, Alexandru Panzari, both known as people of the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, are among those involved in the events of April 2009. During the protests of 2009, Jizdan was head of the Task Force Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Panzari was his deputy. They led one of the most important departments of the MIA, which had to timely identify and detain provocateurs. However, it later emerged that Jizdan and Panzari framed up a criminal case against brothers Anatol and Gheorghe Stepuleac.

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Alexandru Jizdan and Alexandru Panzari. Source:

Although a criminal case had been initiated against Panzari, the Court of Appeal acquitted him in the fall of 2016. By that time, he has been in the position of head of the National Inspectorate of Police.

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Similarly, none of the prosecutors or judges, involved in suppressing of the protests of April 2009, has been sanctioned. 

Although some disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against the judges, who examined cases of protesters on the premises of police stations, the cases were suspended as their limitation periods expired.

Prosecutor Igor Popa, who headed the investigation group in April 2009 and called on judges to examine cases in police headquarters, is currently chief prosecutor of Chisinau and member of the prosecutors evaluation and qualification board. 

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Igor Popa. Source: IPN

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