This Thursday Vlad Filat who is the former Prime Minister of Moldova sent a request for appeal to European Court of Human Rights. Previously, he was sentenced to 9 years in prison on corruption charges.
Filat’s lawyer Igor Papa commented on his client’s decision: “What has happened during this criminal case, without any doubt, constitutes a judicial error. I am certain that this case will be added to a long list of criminal cases, that Moldova lost in European Court. It is unfortunate that before ECHR reaches its verdict Vlad Filat will remain imprisoned. However, I am confident, that in this case justice will prevail.”
According to his lawyer, in his request for appeal the former Prime Minister described several ways via which Human Right’s Constitution was breached during his trial. Especially, with regard to Filat’s right to a “fair trial” that ensures the openness of court proceedings.
“I became a victim of this process, which was conducted in a non-transparent manner, in secrecy, I was denied my right to communicate with mass media. No arguments were presented that would prove that having an open court would somehow influence the case”, – says Filat’s letter to ECHR.
The convicted politician also maintained that almost every request he made to the court regarding listing certain witnesses and hearing their testimonies was denied without any explanation given.
“They didn’t uphold the principle of equality between prosecution and defense, and judges provided no guarantees of impartiality”, – Filat wrote.
In his letter former Moldovan leader mentions a breach of article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights that guarantees a right to “private and family life”.
“The media was deliberately given access to my private life. Furthermore, during entire trial I was escorted to court by an excessive number of guards, and they left the handcuffs on, so that the public would already perceive me as guilty, and this has damaged my public image”, – Filat claimed.
Last June the former Prime Minister was sentenced to 9 years in prison, his belongings were confiscated, he couldn’t secure a post in any governmental organisation for the next five years and he was fined by $3 000. According to the investigators, Filat received a bribe worth $250 mln from a Moldovan entrepreneur Ilan Shor, engaged in mismanagement for a personal gain and participated in other corruption practices. The highest court left previous court’s decision unchanged.