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Anticorruption Report for 2022: Many cases, zero convictions

In 2022, as in 2021, tens of criminal cases over so-called “grand corruption” featuring high-ranking functionaries were opened. Most of those who have been investigated for acts of corruption are persons who already didn’t hold high-ranking posts in state institutions when the criminal cases were started, say the authors of the Anticorruption Report for 2022 that was presented by the Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Corruption (CAPC), IPN reports.

In the course of 2022, the Republic of Moldova managed to fulfill only three of the 15 anticorruption commitments proposed by the European Commission and the justice system still faces many blockages.

The authors said that before compiling the Anticorruption Report for 2022, they could not identify strategic analyses of convictions adopted last year in cases of corruption and related acts, which were required by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and the EU. According to the implementation deadline stipulated in the plan, such an action should have been taken by March 2023.

The report says the reform of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) is driven by a number of factors, such as the diminution of credibility of the act of justice and the blocking during the past three years of the work of the SCJ Plenum.

“The proposals to amend the normative framework are aimed at the extraordinary assessment of judges of the Supreme Court of Justice. The studies conducted by the CAPC revealed a number of shortcomings and risks. The draft law on the Supreme Court of Justice does not ensure clarity about a number of norms from the text of the given draft law,” said the report authors.

They noted that the “vetting” procedure needs to be devoted increased attention so as to ensure proportional guarantees with the aim of avoiding abuses when screening the SCJ judges.

As to the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, the experts said that this authority didn’t manage to increase its institutional visibility and responsibility. More exactly, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office doesn’t compile progress reports and doesn’t provide systematized/generalized information about the work done by it in the course of the year. In 2022, the authority faced an image crisis caused by the leaks from the private correspondence of Moldovan high-ranking officials of the Republic of Moldova, referring to the contest to fill the post of chief anticorruption prosecutor.

As regards the access to information, the experts said there are signals that the ensuring of open governance in the Republic of Moldova remains a problem.

“The common experience of civil society organizations points to a modest culture of transparency and the absence of an authentic commitment in this regard. The report entitled “Freedom of Information Index: Measuring Transparency of Public Institutions in the Republic of Moldova”, which was produced by Freedom House in 2022, shows that the central and local level institutions do not fulfill their essential obligations regarding pro-active transparency, while the citizens experience problems when they access elementary information. In total, the monitored institutions managed to obtain 548 out of 1,508 available points (36%), a decrease compared with 2021. The websites of public institutions from the whole public administration system necessitate major improvements both in terms of quantity and quality of the available data.

The annual anticorruption report compiled by the Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Corruption presents the main evolutions and novelties witnessed in the field of anticorruption in 2022. It is a retrospective analysis of the anticorruption measures taken in the most important sectors and the overdue actions and shortcomings identified by the experts.

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