Center for Investigative Journalism files the case against the Presidency at the ECHR
The case of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM) against the Presidency on the restriction on access to information reached the ECHR. The application has already been registered and it has been assigned a number. The decision to appeal to the Strasbourg Court was taken after the Center lost to the Supreme Court of Justice in June, 2016 the lawsuit against the presidential institution asking for information about persons decorated by the Moldovan presidents from 2001 to date, as well as the acts by which the heads of state rejected the candidacies of judges proposed for promotion or appointment.
Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice rejected the appeal that CIJM filed after the Chisinau Court of Appeal ordered the Presidency to provide journalists with information just about persons decorated with state distinctions. On 29 June, the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) ordered full cancellation of the court’s appeal and upheld the Buiucani District Court’s ruling, which in November 2015 rejected the Center’s action.
The two requests for information were sent to the Presidency in May, 2015. In the first request, CIJM requested the biographies of people who have been decorated from 2001 to 2015 with state awards: the Order of the Republic, Order of Honor, the Order of Labor Glory, Order Civic Merit and the Order Stefan cel Mare, and details about specific merits of each individual to the state. The Presidency has refused to provide this information on grounds of personal data protection.
In the second request, the journalists of the Centre asked all documents sent by the heads of state during 2001-2015 to the Superior Council of Magistracy, by which the candidates for the office of judge, chairman or deputy chairman of courts and instances who were supposed to be promoted at the courts of appeal, were rejected. This time, representatives of the Presidency invoked reasons of personal data protection again. Journalists from the Center for Investigative Journalism obtained and analyzed documents on magistrates’ promotion. We got convinced that the documents contain information of public interest and these were used in the investigation “Judges with ‘nine lives’.”
The case of the Center for Investigative Journalism is represented by the lawyer Valeriu Plesca both at the ECHR and in the national law courts.