The Taraclia Mayor Sergei Filipov was sentenced by the Cahul Court of Appeals and suspended from duty for felling some trees in the city center square. The Mayor must pay a fine of 8000 lei and 164 000 lei as the compensation for the "damage caused to the public interest".
The prosecutors classified his crime under the Art. 328 of the Criminal Code – “The abuse of power”.
Currently, Serghei Filipov hasn’t left the Mayor position and is on leave until July 17. Filipov explained to the gagauzinfo.md why, despite the Court's decision, he will continue to perform his duties.
"The Cahul Court of Appeals must submit the verdict of the first instance court, which must determine how it will be applied. Voluntarily (which I will not do), or through the bailiffs. On July 17 we will challenge the decision at the Supreme Court of Justice. The trial may take a year or two, and all this time I will continue to be the Mayor", said Serghei Filipov.
Who are the judges who issued the verdict
According to the Ziarul de Garda, the decision was issued by the following judges:
Tatiana Dimitriadi. In October 2015, the Superior Council of Magistracy proposed her appointment as President of Court of Appeal Cahul for the term of 4 years and she got the position. In 2015 she declared income from salary worth 194 288.37 lei. She also owns the plot of land (1.0316 ha) worth 12 018 lei, received by the donation in 2015, the ½ of an apartment (50.0 sq.m) worth 450 000 lei and the house with plot of land (118.30 sq.m) worth 25 525 lei.
Galina Vavrin. In January 2012 she was appointed the vice president of the Cahul Court of Appeals for a term of 4 years. According to her latest wealth declaration, she had income from salary worth 224 784.43 lei. She owns the ¼ of the apartment (81 sq.m) worth 170 540 lei, bought in 2004.
Ion Danaila. In 2007 he was appointed the vice president of the Cahul Court of Appeals. The judge declared income from salary worth 212 141 lei. He owns the apartment (81.5 sq.m) worth 77 551 lei, acquired in 2014.
The decision will be executed after the CSJ decision.
Until July 17 the case will be examined by the Supreme Court of Justice. The Filipov’s lawyer Ana Ursachi commented on the case: "The felling down of those trees wasn’t a personal decision, but the collective one. Unquestionably, it is the political decision based on the Constantin Botnari’s visit, whose proposal of collaboration was refused by Mr. Filipov".
Filipov is supported by Pirkka Tapiola
I am disappointed by the Cahul Court of Appeals verdict in the Mayor of Taraclia Sergei Filipov case. This sentence appears to be politically motivated. The Heads of Mission of the EU discussed the situation and expressed their concerns.After the Cahul Court of Appeals’ decision on this case, the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova adopted a declaration in support of Serghei Filipov. At the same time, the head of EU Delegation in Moldova Pirkka Tapiola expressed his surprise of the court decision.
Shortly after that an open letter of the judge of the Supreme Court of Justice Ion Druta appeared. He blamed Pirkka Tapiola of interference in the judiciary and the pressure on court.We note that Serghei Filipov is the Taraclia Mayor since 2011 when the Communist Party won the election (64.08% of votes). Last year in June, Filipov has gained 69.88% of votes in Taraclia as the independent candidate and became the Mayor for the second time.