The state body specialized in ensuring national security states that the information about the list of individuals who would have been wiretapped by the SIS is distorted. ‘It is regrettable that an attempt is being made to attract the Security and Intelligence Service to an area of speculation, by launching unverified, truncated or distorted information in the public space, which generates misinformation, manipulation and intoxication of public opinion’, the press release states.
SIS also believes that such events impact the image of the institution. ‘We strongly condemn these attempts to denigrate and we disapprove the involvement of the Service in political disputes that affect the image and credibility of the institution as national security guarantor’, the press release also states.
‘The Minister of Internal Affairs has no connection with the wiretapping, and such actions are not part of his duties’, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Alexandru Jizdan, (now a DP MP) stated earlier, in relation to the statements made in the press on wiretapping of certain individuals during his mandate. Jizdan stressed that the Ministers of Internal Affairs ‘do not know anything about the wiretaps made during their mandate’.
He added that, in such cases, the MP Motpan should have presented them to the competent bodies. ‘I would not want to get into a situation where we find that this extremely sensitive issue caused a number of common speculations that pursue goals other than public interests’, Jizdan wrote on Facebook.
Gheorghe Cavcaliuc, in his turn, also reacted on his Facebook page to Motpan’s accusations. Cavcaliuc rejected the accusations and said they were false. ‘I definitely reject the accusations against me and I qualify these actions as a revenge and a biased denigration, because, last week, during a TV show I revealed various information and I brought evidence about how the leadership of the party and certain party colleagues in key state positions that are part of the same party Chiril Motpan is, lied and manipulated the society with fakes. During my professional career, I was alway guided by the law. I had a correct, transparent and friendly attitude towards media representatives, and journalist will not let lie about this’, wrote Cavcaliuc.
In this context, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office announced about the conduct of the criminal prosecution on the ground of illegal collection of the information protected by the law (personal life – representing personal and family secret) without the individual’s consent, using the special technical means intended for hidden possession of information, as well as violating the right to secrecy of telephone calls, violating the law and using the job position.
The Prosecutor's Office claims that the criminal prosecution was started at the beginning of September 2019 by the Interim Prosecutor General in three criminal cases, which were transmitted to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office for further criminal prosecution. The three cases were subsequently merged into a single procedure. The criminal prosecution suspected 4 investigation officers, including a head of subdivision of the National Inspectorate of Investigation of the GPI and three prosecutors.
Note that RISE Moldova previously wrote in the article ‘The Ministry of Wiretapping’ that the authorities conducted a campaign during which it wiretapped and stalked the opponents of the democratic government under the guise of certain criminal cases filed on the basis of messages posted on Facebook or statements made during the press conferences. According to RISE, 52 people, including politicians, representatives of civil society and journalists, were under the lens of the prosecutors and policemen. Besides wiretapping the phone calls, the private life of certain individuals was monitored through microphones and video cameras that were set up in their homes.
Chiril Motpan, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security, Defense and Public Order, stated on 22 November, during a press conference at the Parliament that the phones of several journalists and representatives of civil society in the Republic of Moldova would have been wiretapped by the representatives of the law enforcement bodies or by paramilitary structures.
The MP provided to the press a list of individuals who were wiretapped: Nadine Gogu, Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center, Petru Macovei, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Press, Cornelia Cozonac, Director of the Center for Investigative Journalism, Alina Radu, Director of Ziarul de Garda, journalists from TV 8, Natalia Morari, Mariana Rata and Angela Gonta; journalists form Jurnal TV, Anatolie Durbala, Constantin Cheianu, Vasile Nastase (now MP), Val Butnaru, Vladimir Berghii, Alina Cujba; journalists Ion Preascade from RISE Moldova and Valentina Ursu from Free Europe, Tudor Darie, founder of the portal Agora.md and others.
In most cases, journalists were outraged by the information presented by Chiril Motpan, and some internet users noticed that the pictures in the list were taken in 2019, although the wiretaps referred to 2016.