When there are suspicions of corruption or other illegalities, prompt action should be taken without offering the lawyers time for destroying evidence, said Olesea Stamate, explaining the necessity of adopting the amendment she proposed to the law on advocacy, which has been harshly criticized by the lawyers. The MP said the provision saying that the lawyers can be detained, searched and arrested only with the consent of the Council of Lawyers Union (CLU) is inopportune as this is a closed entity that defends the mates, IPN reports.
The amendment proposed by Olesea Stamate excludes the given provision from the law on advocacy. The MP explained that her proposal is aimed at fighting corruption and at preventing lawyers from destroying evidence. According to her, the Council of Lawyers Union can behave subjectively towards persons from the system.
“Sometimes, celebrity determines the result. The delayed actions have a negative impact on the result. The second aspect is related to the entity that offers these guarantees. The CLU consists exclusively of lawyers, as opposed to the CSM where half are judges and half are non-judges and a balance is ensured there and there are opinions from outside the system there. The CLU is a closed circle where there are only players from the system and there is a risk that these will protect their mates. There can be favoritism or preferential approaches there. The third aspect is the risk of information leaks. Since the application is filed and until the CLU is convoked, the given information can reach the involved lawyer and this can destroy evidence,” Olesea Stamate stated in the talk show “Emphasis on Today” on TVR Moldova channel.
On the other side, jurists say the lawyers should benefit from guarantees while on the bar as eventual leaks of information from the files of their clients can endanger the whole defense process.
“I think an honest lawyer benefits from this norm that protects them. It is normal for them to want to maintain these guarantees. As we live in the Republic of Moldova, we see the context. There were cases when the investigation bodies abusively used the instruments to determine particular behavior, including among lawyers who are human rights defender. Maintaining some of the guarantees, as in other states, would be a compromise solution. It goes primarily to the offices of lawyers as their files are there, while in accordance with professional deontology and international norms, the lawyer should keep the file details secret,” said jurist of the Legal Resources Center Ilie Chirtoacă.
The Council of Lawyers Union demanded to withdraw the “Stamate” amendment from parliamentary procedure or they will go on general strike during January 20-24. They said they will fully cease their activities, including the lawyers of the state-guaranteed legal aid system.