Crizantema Cafe returns to Moldovan Academy of Sciences
Translation from Romanian. The original story is HERE.
The final verdict validates the findings of the National Integrity Commission (now ANI: National Integrity Authority) and cancels the lease agreement between the Academy of Sciences (AȘM) and its daughter University. The café in the TeleCenter District of the capital has returned to the Academy of Sciences.
Crizantema lease cost nothing
Gheorghe Duca, in his status of Academy president and member of the Government, had been in court litigation with ANI for almost three years. He felt hurt by ANI’s findings that Mr. Duca was in a conflict of interest when the AȘM Board under his chairmanship signed off the Crizantema Café – a low-cost public enterprise – for the University. The rector of this educational establishment is Maria Duca, the spouse of the AȘM president. The lease agreement had provided for no payment for the café’s use; the management roles had changed only.
ANI: a clear conflict of interests
AȘM motivated its decision with the intention of improving the management of the Academy’s properties and attracting University students to Crizantema’s food catering services. But ANI members argued that Mr. Duca was motivated by personal benefits rather than public concerns.
Yet Gheorghe Duca did not wait for the enforcement of ANI’s report (15 days after issuance) and contested the findings in a court of law in August 2014. He accused ANI of failing to comply with the legal procedures. Duca’se lawyer Diana Ioniță told the Râșcani District Court: “In this very case we do not attest any conflict of interest, which would severely harm the image and authority of state institutions under the material and moral aspects, since neither the Academy, nor the University, or the State in general, has borne any damages. Not has Mrs. Duca or Mr. Duca benefited from any kind of undue advantages or favors.”
However, in April 2015 presiding Justice Ludmila Ursu dismissed Mr. Duca’s arguments and ruled that ANI’s report was just and correct.
Duca loses all cases
The AȘM president did not give up and shortly filed a suit in the Chișinău Court of Appeals, where he lost again.
He then disputed the rulings of the district and appeal courts in the Supreme Court of Justice, which in December 2016 maintained the initial verdicts. Its decision is final and irrevocable.
Crizantema returns to AȘM
Days after the highest court published the final verdict the AȘM Board withdraw its decision and cancelled the lease agreement with the University. Lilian Chișca of ANI has confirmed that the Crizantema Café has returned under the management of the Academy.
The saga with the café had lasted for more than two years and things have finally returned to the initial state.
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