Impact of the CIJM investigations in 2021: Property of 24 prosecutors and judges targeted by the National Integrity Authority

Irina Odobescu
Colaj: CIJM

The property of 13 prosecutors, 11 judges, a counselor and an official from UTA Gagauzia came to the attention of the National Integrity Authority (ANI) after the institution acted to the investigations of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM), conducted in 2021.

1. VIDEO // Prosecutor Vinițchi is building a house on the shores of Lake Ghidighici

Investigative reporters found that prosecutor Pavel Vinitchi was building a house in a wooded area on the shores of Lake Ghidighici. Prosecutor Pavel Vinițchi's property was targeted by ANI, as a result of the CIJM investigations. The house, which appears to be at least 200 square meters, was declared by the lawman in the declaration on property and personal interests with a surface of over 79 square meters.

The prosecutor from Chisinau Pavel Vinitchi was targeted in several investigations of the Center for Investigative Journalism. He was charged in two criminal cases for passive corruption and illicit enrichment.

2. "Poor" prosecutors with apartments, houses and tens of thousands of euros donated by parents and relatives

During the investigation, investigative reporters analyzed 700 statements on property and personal interests of prosecutors. The investigation of the "poor" prosecutors with apartments, houses and tens of thousands of euros donated by parents and relatives revealed that no less than 170 state prosecutors showed generous gifts in their 2020 statements on property.

Nine control procedures by ANI target prosecutors from the General Prosecutor's Office, the Prosecutor's Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases, the prosecutor's offices in Chisinau, Causeni and Ungheni, Glodeni and Drochia.

3. "The rich from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office"

Three prosecutors from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office were targeted by ANI after the publication of the investigation “The Rich from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office”. The investigation revealed that most of the state prosecutors from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office live large, own real estate and luxury cars. Though they get monthly salaries of over 20 thousand lei, expenses often exceed their income.

According to the information provided by the Authority, one of the prosecutors under investigation, is Alexandru Cernei. wrote that the prosecutor Cernei bought a 133.9 square meter house last year against the sum of 1,460,986 lei. In order to buy the coveted home, the prosecutor contracted a loan of one million lei from a commercial bank, with an annual interest rate of 7%. He committed to return it within five years. The family used to live in an apartment with an area of over 80 square meters which they own since 2010.

The former interim head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office Serghei Gavajuc was also targeted by ANI. Serghei Gavajuc's name appeared last spring in two investigations carried by the Center for Investigative Journalism. The investigations revealed that last year his father bought an expensive apartment, of at least 80,000 euros, in an elite area of Chisinau.

The acquisition raised questions after it was found that Gavajuc senior does not own a business, was a simple worker at Răut enterprise, and lately was employed as a gas station operator.

4. Magistrates’ wealthy donours

The investigation “Magistrates’ wealthy donors” reveals that every fifth judge in Moldova reported in the statements on property for last year that they benefited from donations from parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters or other close relatives.

The property of six magistrates from the Chisinau Court and two magistrates from the Comrat Court are verified by the National Integrity Authority. ANI did not make public the names of the judges, but promised to do so if non-conformities were found.

The judge from Ungheni, Ion Ghizdari, was also targeted by ANI. The investigation “Magistrates’ wealthy donors” revealed that last year the magistrate received donations worth over 100,000 lei from his parents.

5. Favorite cars of the magistrates of the hierarchically superior courts

The investigation shows that several Moldovan judges bought cars in 2020. The screening of the magistrates ' statements on property submitted for 2020, highlights the magistrates' preferences for cars.

The property of three judges, two from the Chisinau Court of Appeal and one from the Ungheni District Court, will also be analyzed by ANI. A contravention case was started against one of the judges of the Chisinau Court of Appeal for not filing the statement on property and personal interests.

6. The socialist councilor from Hincesti  

The investigation on the portal “Socialist councilor from Hânceşti: property of millions with a modest salary” reveals that Ivan Ududovici, councilor of Hînceşti district, and his two sons, in public positions, allegedly violated the regime of declaring property and personal interests. Ivan Ududovich and his wife declared for last year only income from the salary of 114,000 lei.

His eldest son, Dumitru Ududovici, deputy director of the Social Investment Fund in Moldova, did not report at least three car transactions and several donations, including 50,000 euros earned at his child's christening party.

7. VIDEO // Scandal of the General Prosecutor’s relatives from Comrat

The National Integrity Authority acted to an investigation by the portal about the deputy director of the Youth and Sports Department of UTA Gagauzia, Serghei Stoianoglo. The investigation reveals that Sergei Stoianoglo did not declare his business and potential income.

The portal wrote in the investigation that Serghei Stoianoglo reported in the 2019 statement on property and personal interests only the annual salary of a civil servant, which is 172,262 lei and a house to live for free. In the State Register of Enterprises, the name of Serghei Stoianoglo appears as the founder and administrator of four enterprises, with the legal address on 60 Treteacov Str. in Comrat town.

The journalistic investigations in this top, carried out in 2021 by the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism, were accomplished under the projects carried out with the support of the Soros Foundation-Moldova, the US Embassy in the Republic of Moldova, Freedom House international organization and the Lawyers for Human Rights Association in Moldova.

We need support to reveal more schemes of corruption. embezzlement of public money, human rights violations. You can help us with a contribution for the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Moldova through Patreon or you can redirect annually 2% of the income tax for investigative journalism, fiscal code of the Center for Investigative Journalism - 1019620008889. The portal is a project of the Center for Investigative Journalism.

Irina Odobescu

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