16 january

First results of prosecution reform expected by spring

With the bill on the prosecution service now drafted, the Parliament created a working group responsible for the debating of the prosecution service's reform concept paper. It is expected that the debates will end by mid-February, enabling the completion of some elements of the reform by spring, IPN reports.

The highlights of the bill are that the President will get to appoint the Prosecutor General, on the proposal of the Superior Council of the Prosecutors, and the prosecutors will get a salary raise similar to that of the judges.

Lawyer Vladislav Gribincea, who chaired the group that drafted the bill, argues that the prosecution service's main task should be criminal justice, that is why the prosecutors' presence in civil cases will be excluded.

Other proposed changes concern the structure of the service. It is proposed to create a department to handle organized crime cases, in addition to the the Anti-corruption Office, for a more specific approach. As with the judges, it is proposed that prosecutors should be appointed on a contest basis by the Superior Council of the Prosecutors.

Concerning the raised salary, Vladislav Gribincea says the prosecutors won't be able to take both a salary and a pension at the same time, to avoid a too heavy burden on the state budget.

Prosecutor General Corneliu Gurin told reporters that another proposal is to reduce hierarchical subordination, as currently a territorial prosecutor can have up to five superiors. Gurin also said that the reform will help to reduce the numbers of prosecutors receiving pensions and those in administrative positions.

Deputy Speaker Andrian Candu, who heads the working group on the reform concept paper, said that the group's meeting was attended by Communist lawmakers as well, which makes him hope that there will be sufficient support to amend the Constitution where needed in order to complete the reform.

There are over 700 prosecutors in Moldova.