Public procurement

Vladimir Molojen was acquitted after he enriched his family’s company during his tenure

Foto: colaj CIJM
Author: Mariana Colun, Viorica Manole
09/12/2015 11172

Vladimir Molojen (69), former Minister of Information Development, concluded public contracts estimated at over two million lei with the company of his family seven years ago. He was acquitted on December 9th, by the Buiucani District Court in the capital, though the anticorruption prosecutor ruled six years in prison. The judgment was delivered by the court president, Dorin Dolghier. The prosecution took a year and a half, and then the trial was in the court for 4 years. Since then, the prosecutor of this case Mihail Ivanov, warned several times that the examination was delayed deliberately.

He enriched his family’s company with a sum of over two million lei

The judge Dorin Dolghier, Photo: IJC

Vladimir Molojen was Minister of Information Development in the Government Tarlev 2 between 2005-2008. Then, he took over the Enterprise Registru, which was under the subordination of the same Ministry. In 2010, after the Communists lost power and formed a new government of pro-European parties, Molojen was charged of abuse of power and negligence in the workplace which led to serious consequences. He was accused that he concluded, on behalf of the State Enterprise Registru, advertising contracts with the Altent-Com company of his son and wife, even if they were not necessary as Registru is the monopolist in issuing identity documents.

A contract to rent a billboard in Chisinau, for a period of three years - 29 August 2008 until 1 June 2011  was concluded  by Molojen with the company Altent-Com few months after  he became head at Registru. Based on this, the state enterprise paid 128,000 lei to the company. Except the fact that Registru did not need such a contract, the transaction was completed in clear conflict of interests. According to prosecutors, a judicial-accounting expertise report dated 3 June 2010 showed that the economic operation of leasing the billboard was not efficient and necessary for the enterprise Registru.

"Thus, Vladimir Molojen committed abuse of office, i.e. having the status of public official, he used purposely the post for financial and other personal interests and this damaged considerably the public interests and rights and interests of individuals protected by law ", said the prosecutor.

Former subordinates, blamed for favoring the company of the head

This company has concluded contracts with the Registru before Molojen was elected director, in the period when he was Minister. The prosecutors accused him that he had not terminated 8 agreements of billboards lease with the company of his family, under which payments were made during his tenure. This brought to the enterprise a prejudice estimated at 2,802,188 lei.

The case covers other 2 persons- Anatolie Gumeniuc accused of negligence in the work place resulting in serious consequences and Valeriu Goncearov, accused of abuse of power  in the work place or excess duties that  led to serious consequences.

Anatolie Gumeniuc managed "Registru"  in the period when Molojen was Minister of Information Development. He was accused of failing to terminate contracts with the company of Molojen’s relatives in the period 2006 - 2008. The damage to the organization reached nearly 900 thousand lei. The third defendant is the former director of the Direction of General Logistics of the Enterprise "Registru". In the period when Molojen was Minister, Valeriu Goncearov was accused that he concluded with the company "Altent-Com" two tenancy agreements of billboards, without the right to do so, i.e. exceeding his duties in his work place. Thus, the company has made payments totaling 900,000 lei to the company within a period of 5 years.

Molojen "I have harmed neither the state nor individuals"

Vladimir Molojen (right), Photo: IJC

All three defendants were defended in court by two lawyers - Vasile Nicoara and Nicolae Ursu. They demanded acquittal, citing procedural irregularities such as late submission of the accusation, and insisting on the fact that the prosecution has not proved that Molojen and former subordinates have harmed someone.

In turn, Vladimir Molojen claims that the prosecution is unproven. "Neither the state nor the state enterprise or individuals were brought any damage. This was proved by the provisions of witnesses. My work was in accordance with the law, so please I want to be acquitted", said Molojen in court. Anatolie Gumeniuc said the billboards were necessary for Enterprise Registru, arguing that they are currently installed near the offices. Similarly, Valeriu Goncearov did not plead guilty.

The prosecutor requested sentencing  Vladimir Molojen to six years' imprisonment  and payment to the state, based on civil action, of a sum of 2,930,327 lei, the amount received by the company Altent-Com from the Enterprise Registru. The prosecution ordered Gumeniuc’s imprisonment for three years and payment of damages estimated at 884,974 lei and for Goncearov - seven years in prison and payment of a damage estimated at 39,289 lei.

Prosecutor Mihail Ivanov: "Decision of acquittal is illegal"

Prosecutor Mihail Ivanov, Photo: IJC

The case has been examined by the Buiucani District Court for 4 years and is managed by the court president, Dorin Dolghier. Over this period of time, witnesses were questioned and expertise was requested.  In October 2014, the prosecutor accused the defense that it intentionally tergiversates the finalization of the examination through repeated requests to postpone the meetings. Also, the judge Dorin Dolghier looked disturbed by the presence of a journalist at a hearing on this case. Thus, finally, at the meeting on December 9, 2015, Dolghier issued a judgment of acquittal. Anticorruption Prosecutor Mihail Ivanov said he would get acquainted with the judgment, and then he will challenge it at the Court of Appeal. I believe that the sentence is illegal. There was sufficient relevant, conclusive and useful evidence proving the defendants’ guilt", said the prosecutor for Anticoruptie.md.

Contracts signed without public procurement competition

Company Altent-Com was founded by Molojen’s son and wife on March 19, 1998, each of them own 50 percent of shares. Its main type of activity is not advertising, as it seems based on the contracts signed with the Registru, but "Manufacturing steel equipment for constructions". To contract its services, the Enterprise Registru did not organize any public procurement competition. State Registration Chamber revealed latest data available for 2012. Thus, the company had official sales revenue estimated at 52.100 lei.

Alexei Molojen, Vladimir Molojen’s son has founded other companies. Thus, on 20 November 2001, he founded his own company Rovet Goup LLC, managed by Valentina Muratova, company whose core business is renting its own real estate. In 2012, the company did not show any sales revenue.

Companies close to defendants

The third company where Alexei Molojen is listed as co-founder is SRL Vis-reasigurare founded on 20 December, 2001 with a share of capital amounted at 300,000 lei. This was divided between five cofounders, by 60,000 lei each. The objective of the company’s activity is insurance actions which are not performed by the state.

Vladimir Molojen’s wife is listed as co-founder of a company - Tehnosoft SRL, founded on October 21, 1992. Also, the accused Valeriu Goncearov has a company founded in 1992 - Nalina SRL, specialized in flat glass processing and shaping. The company had no sales revenue, according to the latest financial report in 2012.

This investigation was conducted within the Campaign "Public Money is My Money" carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM) and the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER),  under a project funded by the European Union and the National Endowment for Democracy.

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