Decision of Court (Third Section Committee), April 21, 2015 (case TOPOROVSCHI v. THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA)

Judge:GOTONOGA S.
Resolution Date:April 21, 2015
Issuing Organization:Court (Third Section Committee)

THIRD SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 50857/08Semion TOPOROVSCHIagainst the Republic of Moldova

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 21 April 2015 as a Committee composed of:

             Kristina Pardalos, President,              Valeriu Griţco,              Branko Lubarda, judges,and Marialena Tsirli, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 9 April 2008,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the Moldovan Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

  1. The applicant, Mr Semion Toporovschi, is a Moldovan national, who was born in 1961 and lives in Chișinău. He was represented before the Court by Mr S. Goțonoga, a lawyer practising in Chișinău.

  2. The Moldovan Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr L. Apostol.

    1. The circumstances of the case

  3. The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

  4. In 1996-1997 the applicant was a member of the Board of the Vias Bank and also the director of the Vias Corporation and member of the Board of the Vibropribor Company.

  5. In 1996 he was accused of a number of crimes, all related to the alleged abuse of his positions in the various companies noted above, notably fraud.

  6. One of the ten charges, which had been the subject of criminal proceedings, concerned a loan issued by the Vias Bank to Vibropribor Company on 8 August 1997 and which had allegedly been misappropriated. This particular loan and the events that followed were the subject of proceedings in the case of Banca Vias v. Moldova, no. 32760/04, 6 November 2007. According to the applicant, there is a connection between the decision to reopen the criminal investigation in his case and the proceedings before the Court which ended with the judgment in Banca Vias, cited above.

  7. On 9 June 2006 the Botanica District Court acquitted the applicant of all the charges for lack of proof. The judgment was appealed, among others, by the Vias Bank, which had the procedural standing of civil party.

  8. On 1 December 2006 the Chişinău Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s judgment, annulling only the part of the judgment concerning the civil law claims filed by several private parties, including Vias Bank.

  9. No appeal on cassation was lodged against that judgment within the two months allowed and it therefore became final on 1 February 2007.

  10. According to the applicant, by a letter of 19 December 2006 the Prosecutor General’s Office replied to a Member of Parliament that it had no reason to appeal the above judgments since no errors of fact or law were apparent and no legal issue of general importance had been raised by those judgments. The applicant also submitted that on 2 April 2007, prosecutor S. B. issued an information note, in which he essentially repeated the statement made in the letter of 19 December 2006.

  11. The Government disputed the veracity of the letter of 19 December 2006 because it lacked an exit registration number and contended that...

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