Andrei Braguţa's suspicious death on the tenth day after his detention, drew the attention of the entire Moldovan society, just like the deaths of Valeriu Boboc and Sorin Paciu. In all these cases, attempts have been made to hail and a tough intervention by civil society, the media and even international organizations, so that the investigative bodies acknowledge that it is actually homicide.
After the media spoke in great detail about Braguţa's death, the law enforcement officials admitted that he was beaten and filed criminal cases. At the same time, the system, rather than recognizing its problems, is seriously opposing, throwing blame from one institution to another. And the best defense method they found was the victim's discrepancy, "who had nasty behavior and called them indecent names," trying to justify the young man's death.
Braguţa's case criminalizes all the representatives of the system: the policeman, the prosecutor, the judge, the lawyer, the supervisor, the doctor, all those who are directly responsible for the security and life of the person, coming into the custody of the state. Those who, instead of being compassionate about a sufferer, try to cast all their blame on them, to justify their inactions or abuses. And Andrei Braguţa's only "guilt" was the mental illness he suffered of for a few years.
Who was Andrei Braguţa
Andrei Braguţa had a rarely encountered specialty in the Republic of Moldova. He was a chemical engineer in the food industry, being a graduate of the Krasnodar Technological Institute. Those who met Andrei claim that he has always manifested his desire to study, read and practice sports.
This year, Andrei Braguţa was also enrolled at "Alecu Russo" University in Balti, at an economics faculty.
Andrei Braguta with his mother
Braguta family, the little Andrei in the middle
After graduating from Krasnodar University, Andrei was employed by various Moldovan food businesses.
In 2012, as he was employed at an oil refinery in Balti, Andrei was sent to Georgia to assist in installing a modern machine at an oil refinery. "I do not know for sure what happened there. But I know he had a strong stress that caused his illness," tells us Ion Braguţa, Andrei’s father.
After coming back from Georgia, Andrei becomes ill and is hospitalized at the psychiatric hospital in Balti, being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Andrei Braguţa is taken to the records of the psychiatrists from Balti and during the last 4 years he is hospitalized several times in the hospital.
Faced with the diagnosis, Andrei tried to overcome stereotypes and lead a normal way of life: working hard, studying, developing projects. He had a girlfriend who had given him a perfectly healthy little boy. He did not drink alcohol and did not smoke, like many other people of his age, and every day he had to administer the pills.
Andrei Braguţa obtained his driving license in 2003.
The doctors did not file the notice to deprive Braguţa of his driving license.
Last week of freedom
The police say that before being detained, Andrei Braguţa had deviant behavior, tried to steal water from a store, consume alcohol, and that he would have been seen by a countryman, drunk, barefoot, ripped clothes, and injuries on the body.
The Braguţa family presents the situation otherwise. Natalia, Andrei's older sister, who had lived in Switzerland for some years, came for a brief visit to her parents on August 10.
Natalia, Ion and Andrei Braguta
"It was 23:00 when we arrived at Balti Railway Station. Andrei waited for me. We had not seen each other for two years. I was very happy to see the cheerful and healthy brother. On our way home, Andrei told me about his accomplishments, that he loves his work, that he wants to continue his studies, and joined the gymnasium in a Latin-American dance circle. A meeting with parents followed. We all went to sleep late. The next day, Andrei woke up in the morning to prepare his meal to take to work. He asked my permission to take the sweets I brought to serve his colleagues. My brother came back from work late, I was already asleep. The next day we found out that the car had been damaged and had to look for someone to towed. In the morning of August 12, my father and brother repaired the car. After lunch, I went to visit my grandmother. We stopped at a bakery in Balti, I took pies for my grandmother and Andrei served me with ice cream. I went to a bookstore, where Andrei bought some books. I stayed for several hours at my grandmother’s, and I talked to my brother from Russia. In the evening we met a classmate of Andrei, who had returned from Odessa. Then we wanted to have fun at a disco in Balti, but we were all too tired and we left after 15 minutes," Natalia recalls step by step last days with his brother.
With father and grandmother
On the morning of August 13, Andrei went fishing with his sister and father, where they stayed until noon.
In the second half of the day, Andrei met a former colleague from the "Sunflower" refinery in Balti and visited Stanislav, his three-year-old son. According to Natalia's words, they August 14 spent with their family: "On August 18, it was my birthday. Andrei decorated the house with colorful balloons and brought me a huge watermelon. The next day I was about to leave. Late in the evening, Andrei told me that the next day he was going to go Chisinau to solve some work problems. On the morning of August 15 we hugged, we said goodbye. Andrei got into the car, smiled, wished me good luck and left. It was the last time I saw my brother alive."
On August 15, Andrei Braguţa left home at 7 am because, as he had told his father, he had to be in Chişinău at 10 o'clock. We are trying to deduce the events from two video recordings, one of patrol agents, as well as GPI releases. Thus, two traffic agents, who were at the exit of Peresecina village from Chisinau, noticed a car traveling at an excessive speed in the locality. According to the minutes, drafted by the traffic agents, the speed was 118 km / hour. The cops tried to stop him, but Braguţa would have shown them an indecent sign. Then the patrol agents asked for help from their colleagues, and they started tracking Braguţa’s car, which was stopped over a distance of 6 km, near Ratuş village in Criuleni district. The video shows how Andrei is pulled out of the car, put to the ground and handcuffed. Later, Braguţa is escorted to the National Patrolled Inspectorate on Doina Street in Chisinau, and after that, Andrei’s car is taken to the special parking lot on Otovasca Street in the Ciocana District of the capital. According to the video sequences offered by the police, Andrei punches a policeman in the face, but other policemen come to his colleague's help, who immobilize Andrei in a few seconds.
Andrei Braguţa was taken to the narcologist. According to the videos it is clear that Andrei was nervous, he spoke quickly and meaningless, offering the doctor first 5000 euros then a Mercedes. Braguta refused for his blood samples to be taken, for which he signed.
Filing criminal cases
Finally, Andrei Braguţa is taken to the Ciocana Police Inspectorate, where criminal investigating officer Roman Bolgarenco files two criminal cases under Article 264, first para. 3, which provides for a fine in the amount of 900 to 1000 conventional units or community service from 200 to 240 hours for the refusal to give biological evidence to determine the driver's state of drunkenness and according to the article. 349 par. (11), which provides from 4 to 8 years of imprisonment for the application of violence that is dangerous to the life or health of a person in a position of responsibility.
Meanwhile, Braguţa's health is getting worse, virtually out of control.
The young man’s father, Ion Braguţa, arrived at the Ciocana Inspectorate at 6 o'clock in the evening. "I was called at 11:00 by a guy, who introduced himself as Gheorghe, a policeman from Orhei, who also told me that Andrei was detained. Immediately I rushed to the train station and at 14.00 I arrived at Orhei at the police station. There they told me my son was at Ciocana. Then I went to Chisinau, and at the Ciocana Inspectorate I arrived just in the evening," recalls Ion Braguţa.
The man, aged 68, says he found Andrei deeply irritated. "He stood up, talking fast, swearing, he was very troubled. A cop shut his mouth with a towel to keep him quiet. I asked the cops why he was detained and they replied that he had maltreated their colleague and insulted their other colleagues. I tried to reassure Andrei, I told him I was going to do my best to get him out of here, and he told me we had to deal with begging. I realized that Andrei was getting sick and told the criminal prosecution officer. I even wanted to talk to his doctor on the phone, but he said he was not talking to anyone on the phone. With tears in my eyes, I asked him to take my son to a doctor or at least give him the medicine, but he did not even want to hear. And Andrei was getting agitated instantly.
The old man also said that his son was threatened by a policeman: "We will put you in jail for a long time, there you will calm down quickly."
Ion Braguta also told us that a man with glasses approached him, who presented himself as the lawyer "Vlad Nevreanu" who asked him 3500 lei to defend Andrei. The latter firmly refused. Later on, I learned that Vladislav Nevreanschi from the Equity Law Office, was serving as a state-guaranteed attorney that day. Some argue that Nevreanschi would have been in the police force until he was in possession of the lawyer's license.
Lawyer Nevreanschi. Source: mafia.md
Andrew's father says he stayed at the Ciocana police for almost an hour, after which a policeman gave him the belt, the watch, the laces, the shirt, and one of his son's two phones: "They left it only in trousers with bare skin . Andrei had two phones, but they only returned one. A policeman told me that Andrei was detained for 72 hours and would be taken to the preventive detention facility on Tighina Street 6 ".
CrimeMoldova sources claim that the Ciocana policemen had played against Andrei Braguţă, called him "Caesar", laughed scornfully, which irritated him.
According to prosecutor Ivan Filimon, before being escorted to Tighina 6, Andrei Braguţa was taken to the Emergency Hospital, where he would have been subjected to a medical examination.
The nightmare on 6 Tighina street
Although the Internal Regulations of the Provisional Detention Isolator stipulate clear rules prohibiting the placement of ill, aggressive, non-traditional sexual orientation people along with other detainees, Andrei Braguţa is placed in Cell No. 9, together with an athlete named Jalba.
After the scandal began, the General Police Inspectorate announced that Braguţa was beaten by other detainees because of sexual torture. Our sources told us that the young man had been beaten at 4am, the incident was noticed on the video monitors, but they did not intervene. Moreover, the head of the shift that day did not report at least about the ill-treatment of a detainee. On August 16, Andrei Braguţa was transferred to cell no. 11, where he was left without a mattress on the bed. Our sources claim that the chief of the shift, Igor Orbu, who placed Andrei in the cell with other detainees, did not react to ill-treatment and did not report the incident. Moreover, he was not suspended from office. Instead, among the suspended policemen, there is one who called for salvation.
Prosecutor Filimon says he visited Braguţa on August 17 to make him aware of the accusation and saw that it was inappropriate: "He was aggressive, cursed, masturbated in front of me. I could not release him at all. To let him go naked on Stefan cel Mare boulevard and kill someone? I could not take that risk."
Prosecutor Filimon. Source: TV8 video capture
Braguţa says he tried the second day after his detention to send his son clothing and food, but he failed: "I took bread, tomatoes, cheese, a bottle of mineral water and I went straight to Chisinau. At 6 Tighina street I was told by some boss, on the phone, that he cannot receive the package without the advice of the criminal prosecution officer. A good man showed me where the station was on trolleybus no.13, and over an hour I was on the Voluntari Street, at the Ciocana police. But we did not find Bondarenco. A chief told me he worked overtime and was resting. Then I went to an acquaintance in the Buiucani sector and the next day I went back to Ciocana, Bondarenco signed my application, then went back to 6 Tighina street and they took my package."
On the same day, August 17, Andrei's father signs a contract with lawyer Anatol Bulgaru, recommended by his well-known friend in Chisinau, and pays 500 euros for services. Within a few days, the Braguţa family still gives the defender another 200 euros, then another 2000 lei.
"We did not have savings. They were my mother's savings, collected from the retirement pension for her funeral. When she heard about Andrei's problem, the old woman gave us the money and asked us to exchange them in euro and save him," says Vasilisa Braguţa, the deceased young man’s mother, with tears in her eyes.
Grandma, who sacrificed her economies to save the nephew
Adrian Jovmir, the press officer of the Chisinau Police Inspectorate, told us that the officers in the Provisional Detention Isolator had called the ambulance practically every day, but the doctors did not take responsibility for it: "It was also to psychiatry. But they did not give him at least some medication to calm him down. After receiving an arrest warrant, Braguţa was taken to Penitentiary No. 13, but they did not want to take him, although they were forced to do so. They left everything to the police, and now everyone says the police are guilty. I assert with all responsibility that no policeman has beaten him. The other inmates beat him, and the cops reacted abruptly. It is not true that the water was disconnected".
According to a picture on the registry, rescue physicians have asked for Braguta to be hospitalized immediately, but the escort chief refused on the grounds that he had no one to escort him.
The arrest warrant
On August 18, Ciocana training judge, former prosecutor, Iurie Obada, prosecutor Filimon approached the prosecutor Filimon's request and issued a warrant for arrest for a period of 30 days on the name of Andrei Braguţa. We mention that Obada's name has already been involved in some scandals, including a criminal case lost by the Republic of Moldova to the ECHR. Obada refused to start criminal prosecution on behalf of a mentally ill minor who was beaten by Ciocana police officers to acknowledge more thefts.
Iurie Obada. Source: presedintie.md
"Braguta presented show before the judge as well, called him indecently, threatened him. He had an absolutely inappropriate behavior, "Ivan Filimon told us. Asked why he was not taken to the psychiatric hospital, the prosecutor said he had no confirmatory documents, nor did the magistrate Obada.
Our sources claim that Iurie Obada has not been disturbed by Andrei's behavior and asked the police to remove him from the courtroom, and then released his mandate.
Braguţa was "defended" in court by Vladislav Nevreanschi, although the parents had signed a contact with Defender Bulgaru. "I sent Mr. Ion to Balti to bring medical confirmation that Andrei has a medical record and diagnosed with schizophrenia. On August 17, Mr. Ion arrived late in Balti and didn’t find the doctor, but agreed to meet the next morning. I called the prosecutor, I said that I was Braguţa's lawyer and asked them to postpone the meeting at three o'clock in the afternoon, so that the old man could get the documents from Balti. When almost three of us called that we were ready to come to trial, they told me that it had already taken place and that Andrei Braguţa had received a 30 days arrest warrant," Bulgaru told us.
The defender also said that the criminal investigation officer refused to give him the conclusion on the arrest warrant, as well as the injunction and prosecution order on the ground that he was not in the trial. "I called Nevreanschi, who said he needed to see what he was up to, but he did not call," said the defender who said he was in the position to write the appeal without seeing the ruling after the hearing of first instance.
Our attempts to discuss with Vladislav Nevreanschi have not been successful. After we presented and told him what we were interested in, the defender at "Echitate" told us that he could barely hear us and promised to come back with a phone call. Subsequently, Nevreanschi did not answer any of our calls for three days.
Thrown from one institution to another
After releasing the arrest warrant, Andrei Braguţa is escorted to Penitentiary No. 13, but those there refuse to take it, invoking the prisoner's mental health condition. Our sources argue that the reason for the refusal was actually bodily injury. Thus, Braguţa is brought back to the temporary detention facility on 6 Tighina street.
Only on Monday, August 21, the prosecutor proceeded to court to send Braguţa to psychiatric expertise, and on August 23, a magistrate from Ciocana issued a resolution to that effect.
This time, attorney Bulgaru attends the hearing. "He was not aggressive, he could not talk, he was just rumbling," said the defender. Ion Braguţa says that a more polite escort policeman allowed him to talk and embrace his son: "He was dressed in a bunch of hospital cloths and I do not know why he had a medical mask on. I hugged him and told him everything would be fine. But my boy did not recognize me. He looked at me like I was a stranger, and he barely could asked to close the door. That's when I last saw Andrusha alive."
The old father also told us that on August 22 he tried to send food to his son in 6 Tighina's Isolator, but a person came in a white gown telling him that Andrei was very weak and did not eat anything for a few days: "He said he had to be taken to the hospital, that he had to be moved elsewhere, for he was afraid he will die there."
Our sources informed us that on the same day, Andrei Braguţa was transported to the Republican Psychiatric Hospital, where he was discharged the following day, August 24, and went to Prison No. 13. The head of the Penitentiary Institutions Department, Aureliu Suhan, would later declare in a press conference on August 31 that Braguţa stayed in this penitentiary for about an hour and was transported to Penitentiary No. 16, where he died on the night of 26 August.
We tried to find out from Iurie Pavlov, Deputy Chief of the Republican Psychiatric Hospital, why Andrei Braguţa, who was in such a serious condition, was not hospitalized. Doctor Pavlov refused to give us information, invoking the confidentiality of personal data. However, the doctor told us that the law prohibits admission to a psychiatric hospital without the patient's consent, and forced internment is only by court order.
Iurie Obadă. Sursa presedintie.md
Asked why he demanded in court the arrest warrant, but not the forced admission to psychiatry, if he noticed that Braguţa behaved inadequately, Ivan Filimon said that the forced custody decision is taken after the examination of the substantive case after all the evidence . "It is not up to the prosecutor. It does not even fall under the competence of the training judge. The judges have too much on their heads, what would happen if they were forced to do so and forced into psychiatry," said the lawman.
However Dorin Cazacu, one of the lawyers of the Braguţa family, has another opinion: "It is written that undocumented persons can not be subjected to judgment. If he saw that he was behaving inadequately and especially knew he had a psychiatric records, the prosecutor was obliged to ask for admission to psychiatry. And the judge was entitled to sue, but not to keep his eyes closed to the prosecutor's request. And that was not the case for so long. If he wishes, the prosecutor submits the request in the morning, and in a few hours the meeting is scheduled."
Dorin Cazacu. Source: Facebook
The death and the cover up
Ion Braguţa learned about the death of his son on the morning of August 28, on his way to Chisinau. On that day, the Chisinau Court of Appeal was to examine the legality of the arrest warrant issued by Obada.
"I was on the road when my wife called me, and among the lamentations of crying told me that someone in Chişinău announced that our Andruşa is no longer alive," the old man says. Arrived in Chisinau, Ion Braguţa went directly to Pruncul Penitentiary 16, but there he was told that his son's body had already been transported to the morgue on Corolenco Street 8.
The morgue sent the old man to bring a certificate from the sector policeman where the death occurred to make the autopsy. Not knowing Chişinău well, it took the old man took several hours to reach the Buiucani Police Inspectorate to take the certificate.
The next day, the morgue employees released the corpse, but also the death certificate, which showed that Andrei died of purulent bronchopneumonia.
Apart from the other expenses, the parents of the deceased have to pay another 900 lei for the services offered by the morgue employees, such as the embalming, restoration and cosmetic retouch of the corpse.
Andrei Braguţa's parents have guessed something is wrong with the death of their son. "Andrei had a deep wound covered with a stump on his forehead. I do not think that was the wound from the morgue. We can not imagine how it was possible to die the tenth day after we saw him alive and unharmed. I do not understand why it had to pass almost three days to let us know about the death of our son," said Andrei's mother.
Asked by CrimeMoldova, Doctor Larisa Muntean of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection states that it is not excluded that Andrei Braguţa died also because of pneumonia: "Men usually have this disease more aggressive and if they are not administered antibiotics on time, the patient dies. If we are to lead ourselves afterwards, then Braguta has become ill while being detained. But I do not understand how so many doctors who consulted him on the road did not notice the symptoms of pneumonia, especially fever, which in those cases is over 40 degrees?"
Penalties and suspensions
After Andrei Braguţa's case began to be widely publicized, the heads of state institutions began to blame each other. On September 1, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced that a criminal case had been filed for intentional bodily injury resulting in death. On the same day, the authorities announce the suspensions of nine employees of the Preventive Detention Isolator, Penitentiary No.13 and Penitentiary No.16. On September 4, the General Prosecutor’s Office informed about the detention of 5 people, including three policemen and two men, who would have stayed in the same cell with Braguţa and have beaten him.
The prosecutor Ivan Filimon suggested that, in fact, it was Ion Braguţa guilt of what happened: "I do not know why he is trying to blame the prosecutor, the judge and the policemen. The patrol agents have done their duty, for Braguţa, to be driving in such state, could kill someone. He had a particularly aggressive behavior, hit the cops, insulted everyone. Why no one talks about what his father has done, who is blaming everyone? If he knew the son had such a disease, why did he give him the keys to the car? If he did not give him the keys everything would have been fine."
The lawyer Dorin Cazacu agrees with the prosecutor only on the part of stopping the means of transport. "the patrol agents have done the right thing. But what followed later is serious. I do not understand why Braguţa came to the Ciocana sector, if Braguţa's car was stopped in another territory. He had to be escorted to Criuleni. The person came to the custody of the state, which is directly responsible. It's actually a system issue that the authorities will not recognize."
A similar opinion is given by PromoLex attorney, Vadim Vieru: "It does not change the fact that Braguţa was aggressive and cursed. There are symptoms characteristic of a disease and no one can blame a man for being sick. Authorities tried to cover up the case. Forensic expertise has found that death was registered on August 25, but those in Penitentiaries said that it actually occurred on August 26th. It is also suspect that the victim's relatives were announced just the third day after his death."
Natalia Braguţa, who had to return shortly from Switzerland to lead her brother on the last road, left a disturbing message: "When I learned about my brother's death, and then the circumstances in which he died, my only thought was: does a man’s life really means nothing in this world ?! Is really this world so cruel and going to the dogs?... And who, according to his own will, can take the life of another man. Kindness exists, love exists, but we have to give it a chance to grow. People should not be afraid to live. They have to enjoy life.
If my brother's case demonstrates that there is justice, if he gives people confidence in oneself, in laws, then we will achieve a lot."