NGO director says monitoring public spending brought on legal troubles for him

Mihai Gandrabura, a high school teacher running a local NGO called “Civis”, says he has wound up with a conviction after his monitoring of the Orhei District Hospital and other establishments revealed abuse in public spending and procurement.

Mihai Gandrabura told a press conference that after his revelations “irritated many”, the authorities turned the tables on him and accused him of embezzling public money. “I proved in court that it was the detective (working the case) who actually falsified a complaint allegedly written by a local administration representative,” said Gandrabura.

After only six weeks of court proceedings, a district court eventually sentenced Gandrabura to 7 years imprisonment. The NGO director appealed, and the case was sent back to court for a rehearing.

Gandrabura suggests that there may be a parallel reason for why the authorities would want to put him away. He had been in conflict over an alternative energy invention patent with a woman who happens to be the aunt of Gheorghe Cavcaliuc, now former deputy chief of th Moldovan Police. When he refused to cooperate with the woman, he was threatened with jail.

Gandrabura was then arrested for a month, during which time he said he was tortured on the orders of Cavcaliuc. The NGO director’s complaint alleging torture was dismissed by the district court and is now being heard by an appelate court.