The former Prime Minister, Vlad Filat, filed a petition with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). According to Popa and Associates Law Firm, which represents Filat's interests, the decision to appeal to the ECHR has been taken given that the magistrates of the Republic of Moldova issued an illegal decision on the conviction of the former prime minister.
In his appeal, Filat complains of the fact that several of his rights, guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, had been violated.
Vlad Filat specified that although he had been elected as a member of the Parliament based on democratic elections, his strip of parliamentary immunity and his unseat was ordered in blatant violation of the domestic law.
The former prime minister urged the ECHR to recognize the violation of his right to a fair trial. In his appeal, Filat referred to the violation of the principle of publicity of court hearings. "I was the victim of a trial conducted under covert, clandestine terms. I was forbidden to communicate with the media .... The prosecution did not present any evidence to demonstrate that a public trial would affect the interest of justice," the request states.
Moreover, according to Filat, the right to a fair trial was violated also by the fact that most of his requests to hear witnesses and conduct a specialized expertise had been rejected without any specific motivation. At the same time, Vlad Filat complained to the European Court that the magistrates, who had tried him, did not offer any guarantees of impartiality.
Additionally, according to Filat, his right to private and family life was breached by the fact that certain documents of the case had been deliberately disclosed to the press. At the same time, throughout the trial, Vlad Filat appeared in court handcuffed and surrounded by an excessive number of Special Forces officers. This had induced the public opinion the idea of his guilt. It affected his private life and his public image.
Vlad Filat also alleged the violation of his rights by applying the measure of preventive arrest throughout the trial. In his view, the prosecution did not provide any real argument of the fact that the prosecution can take place only under detention conditions. The purpose of maintaining the preventive arrest until the end of the trial was his removal from the public and political arena, the complaint to the ECHR reads.
Vlad Filat's representative to the European Court, lawyer Igor Popa, is convinced that the ECHR will oblige the national court to review Vlad Filat's case and restore his rights.
In 2015, Vlad Filat also filed a complaint with the ECHR "Filat vs / Moldova", which concerns the violation of detention conditions in Prison 13, illegal detention and arrest.
The former Prime Minister Vlad Filat was arrested in October 2015. He was accused of passive corruption and influence peddling after the businessman Ilan Shor told the prosecutors that he had given him money and goods worth $ 250 million. In June 2016, Vlad Filat was sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment and a fine of 60,000 lei. The former prime minister denies the allegations and claims not guilty.