The Moldovan government approved amendments to the Law on the Prosecutor's Office, changing the mechanism for appointing the prosecutor general.
The bill provides for the creation of an independent commission under the Ministry of Justice, which will conduct a preliminary selection of candidates for the position of prosecutor general. In addition, the High Council of Prosecutors may elect the Prosecutor General from the short list proposed by this commission. The commission will consist of 5 members: the Minister of Justice, a former prosecutor or former judge with at least 10 years of experience, one international expert with extensive experience in the field of prosecution and anti-corruption, one recognized national expert or professor in the field of law and one representative of civil society . In this case, a national expert will be appointed by the chairman of the parliament, and a psychologist will assist the commission. Members of the commission must have an impeccable reputation and at least 10 years of experience in the specialty. Based on the results of the public competition, the commission must determine at least 2 candidates who will be proposed for approval by the High Council of Prosecutors, which is currently holding a competition to elect the prosecutor general and proposing it to the president for approval. Other amendments introduced include expanding the circle of candidates for the position of prosecutor general. Currently, the law provides for candidates 10 years of legal experience and 5 years of experience in the prosecutor's office. Changes shorten these periods, and candidates will have to have 5 years of experience as a prosecutor or judge, and 8 years of experience as a lawyer or criminal investigator. Another change involves expanding the composition of the High Council of Prosecutors at the expense of the chairman of the Union of Lawyers, the Ombudsman and a representative of civil society, which will be approved by the government. The Minister of Justice Olesea Stamate noted that the changes are aimed at strengthening the role of the executive branch in the process of selecting a candidate for the position of the prosecutor general through a transparent procedure, and they do not jeopardize the independence and autonomy of the prosecutor's office, since the High Council of Prosecutors will play a decisive role in choosing the proposed candidate. In turn, Prime Minister Maia Sandu emphasized that this is the most important draft law for the reform of justice and the prosecutor's office, and there will be no compromises on this document. “People want all stolen money to be returned, all thieves to be caught and punished, and all property illegally acquired by them should be confiscated: luxury houses, cars, “fat” bank accounts. A clear message is needed that theft is being punished in Moldova. In addition, all our efforts, decisions on budgets, appointments, and politicians will be in vain if those who committed lawlessness are not punished and the stolen goods are not returned. But neither the government, nor the parliament can do this, because this is done by justice, which needs to be reformed” said Maia Sandu. She noted that reform in justice can begin only with the appointment of a real prosecutor general, professional and courageous, who will protect the interests of citizens, not politicians, various interest groups and thieves. “The Supreme Council of Prosecutors is currently holding its own competition on the selection of the prosecutor general, we do not trust this procedure” the prime minister said, noting that the amendments changing the mechanism for electing the prosecutor general were discussed with international partners and parties in parliament, and the Cabinet is waiting for their approval next week to conduct a real competition and elect a new prosecutor general. // 13.09.2019 — InfoMarket.