Your Excellency Ambassador James Pettit,
Representatives of civil society organizations in Moldova consider the adoption of the so-called draft Law on Capital Liberalization and Fiscal Stimulation inadmissible. The Law would legalize illegalities, would present a legalized form of money laundering, compromise anti-corruption reform and the process of consolidation of the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova.
This draft Law releases from liability any physical person and legal entity that illegally gained their property and assets, including the billion-dollar banking system fraud in the Republic of Moldova, in exchange for a 2 percent fee to the state from the total value of the undeclared assets.
In addition, other amendments to the legislation would follow, including those that prevent the newly established National Integrity Authority from verifying legalized property that belongs to public servants and persons with public dignity.
We express our deep concern that this Law would undermine anti-corruption efforts, and would result in amnesty for public servants, particularly those in the justice sector and other relevant domains, who gained their property in an illegal manner.
Business associations in Moldovan also voiced their concern, as the adoption of this Law would have a negative impact on the business environment and would discriminate/deter entrepreneurs who honor their fiscal obligations vis-à-vis the state.
Following meetings with civil society organizations, officials from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Delegation of the European Union to Chisinau also expressed their positions on the draft Law, drawing particular attention to the integrity risks that the law would impose. This determined the temporary suspension of promoting this law, after being voted in a first reading in the Parliament.
Taking into consideration that the United States Congress recently supported the proposal of the President of the United States to globally extend the applicability of the Magnitsky Act towards persons and governments that admitted and benefited from corruption acts, we are asking the Government of the United States of America and related official authorities to take an attitude and express their opinion vis-à-vis the legal initiative on so-called “capital liberalization” in the Republic of Moldova (that is in fact an amnesty of illegalities that followed from corruption acts), through the prism of the Magnitsky Act. This is especially important, as the adoption of such a law could transform the Republic of Moldova into an attractive place for those interested in the legalization of illegally obtained funds, not only regionally, but also on a global level, obstructing in this manner the application of the Magnitsky Act.
The entire society of the Republic of Moldova is deeply affected by the bank fraud that was admitted and tolerated by decision makers. In the conditions of a mimed investigation into this fraud, we consider promoting such an initiative an unpardonable defiance of the public opinion and the rule of law that was committed by our governors. We consider that a clear and transparent statement from U.S. authorities through the prism of its own principles and laws would deter authorities in the Republic of Moldova from promoting harmful laws that aim at legalizing illegalities, protecting the beneficiaries of these illegalities and undermining reforms, including in justice sector.
With highest considerations,
Asociatia Internationala a Pastratorilor R\ului Eco-TIRAS
Business Consulting Institute
Centre for Journalistic Investigations
Centre for Legal Assistance for People with Disabilities
Centre for Independent Journalism
Ecological Movement of Moldova
Institute for Urban Development
Legal Resource Centre – Moldova
Transparency International – Moldova