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Anenii Noi Police Will Hear Journalists Natalia Morari and Dorin Scobioala Following a Complaint Submitted by Deacon Ghenadie Valuta

29 August 2019
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The TV8 journalist Natalia Morari and the Reuters Television correspondent Dorin Scobioala will be heard by the Anenii Noi Police Inspectorate (Anenii Noi PI) following a complaint Deacon Ghenadie Valuta filed against them. He complained to the police in early August that the journalists violated his dignity and honour via their publications made on Facebook, after the press wrote that the Deacon tied a dog to his car and crawled it few kilometers.

On Thursday, 29 August, Ghenadie Valuta published a letter on Facebook, mentioning that Anenii Noi PI started a contravention proceeding against the two journalists who violated his dignity and honour via social media.

In its letter, the Police Inspectorate mentioned that signs of a contravention provided for by Article 69(2) of the Contravention Code of the Republic of Moldova, sanctioning the ‘insults in the media’, were found in this case.

Asked by, Anenii Noi PI press officer, Corina Repesciuc, stated that the letter just informed Ghenadie Valuta about the actions to be taken by the police and that the journalists are to be heard by the police: "Anenii Noi PI had to make a decision now and give an answer to Ghenadie Valuta whether he was insulted in the media or not. If they are found guilty of violating his dignity, citizens Natalia Morari and Dorin Scobioala will be punished according to Article 69(2) of the Contravention Code. The latter stipulates a fine from 12 to 24 conventional units, i.e. a maximum fine of MDL 1,200. If they are not found guilty, then Mr. Ghenadie Valuta will have the right to appeal against this decision".

The journalists took a stand and reacted to the letter published by Ghenadie Valuta: "I see that he’s asking for a show. Well, together with Dorin Scobioala, we’ll give him a show!", journalist Natalia Morari commented.

On the other hand, Dorin Scobioals mentioned in a post on Facebook that it was ‘too early’ for Ghenadie Valuta to celebrate, since the journalists were just called for hearings and nobody knew what the law enforcement bodies are to decide.

On 22 July, pictures of a street dog tied with a chain to a car were published on the Internet. The car was driven by Deacon Ghenadie Valuta who explained that he intended to get the dog out from the village because it would be dangerous and made this in a way to not ‘get his car dirty’. A number of Internet users, including journalists Natalia Morari and Dorin Scobioala, commented his actions.

In addition, a criminal case was initially opened by Anenii Noi Prosecutor’s Office against Ghenadie Valuta, following a public petition requesting the punishment of the Deacon for ‘cruelty against animals’. However, the Prosecutor’s Office closed the criminal case because the criminal law did not stipulate that Ghenadie Valuta’s acts represented a criminal offence. Later, he was fined for his acts towards the animal, and the Metropolitan Church of Moldova announced that he was removed from the position of cleric of the ‘St. Dumitru’ church from Anenii Noi.