The Court of Appeal has annulled the decision of the first court and ordered a re-examination of the petition submitted by activist Alexei Dimitrov, who was hit by lawyer Ala Popa with a map in 2018. Additionally, the appeals court has revoked the decision of the Ethics Commission of the Lawyers' Union of the Republic of Moldova, which found nothing reprehensible in the lawyer's actions. Ala Popa, the defender and ex-wife of prosecutor Igor Popa, who is currently under criminal investigation for illicit enrichment, threatened the Center for Investigative Journalism with criminal prosecution for "accessing personal data" following an investigation by their journalists.
The magistrates of the Court of Appeal made this decision on February 28, and the document was published on the website of the courts in March. According to the decision, the Lawyers' Union is required to organize a new meeting of the Ethics and Discipline Commission on this matter.
The decision of the full Court of Appeal Chisinau, consisting of judges Ghenadie Mîra (president), Ina Dutca, and Denis Băbălău, stated, "The decision of the Commission for Ethics and Discipline of the Union of Lawyers from the Republic of Moldova of April 1, 2019, which concluded that there were no violations in the actions of the lawyer Ala Popa, is annulled. The Commission for Ethics and Discipline of the Union of Lawyers from the Republic of Moldova is required to re-examine the petition no. 2814/18 of 17.12.2018 submitted by Alexei Dimitrov against the actions of the lawyer Ala Popa".
The incident occurred in early December 2018, after a court hearing where Dimitrov's complaint was considered against the police's decision not to prosecute the owners of the Capitoles Park Restaurant in Valea Trandafirilor Park, Chisinau, for the noise created during weekend nights. In the video recording made by Alexei Dimitrov, Ala Popa is seen walking towards him, talking on the phone, and hitting him with a map.
In turn, Ala Popa accused Dimitrov of aggression and interference in her private life. "I was engaged in a private discussion, and Dimitrov was filming me from behind, filming my personal documents. He called me ugly, reproached me for defending the interests of Nadejda Herța. I told him to go wash himself because he smelled bad. I just wanted to keep his phone away because he was putting it in my eyes. And he grabbed my hand, hit me across the face, scattered my documents, he was very aggressive. It is unacceptable for a man to hit a woman who is also a lawyer. I filed a complaint and gave explanations to the police," the defender stated.
On April 1, 2019, the Ethics and Discipline Commission of the Lawyers' Union rejected the complaint filed by activist Alexei Dimitrov as unfounded. Even though six out of the eleven members of the Commission voted to sanction Ala Popa, it was decided to establish that there were no deviations in the actions of the lawyer Ala Popa.
Ala Popa was previously married to Igor Popa, the ex-deputy general prosecutor, and they officially divorced in 2016. Ion Diacov, the former prosecutor of the municipality of Chisinau, claimed that he caught the two vacationing in Antalya during the summer of 2018.