On 11 May 2020, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Moldova announced the discontinuation of the investigation against the head of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska.
The case was on a list of 38 “political” files. Lyudmyla and ODF were accused of money laundering, financing the Moldovan opposition, espionage and interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Moldova.
The investigation was related to the Moldovan Parliament’s 2018 report at the request of the then “owner” of the state, superoligarch and leader of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, against whom we had called for sanctions.
Polish agencies and diplomats eagerly cooperated with the Moldovan government against the Open Dialogue Foundation. Moreover, on this basis, the ruling Law and Justice party together with the media machine supporting them organised a festival of propaganda to slander us and the Polish opposition.
Among the supporters of the smear campaign were Law and Justice party members Patryk Jaki, Ryszard Czarnecki, Karol Karski, Witold Waszczykowski and Beata Kempa. We have already filed lawsuits against many of them to protect our personal rights. Before the 2019 European parliamentary election, ODF supporters Róża Thun and Michał Boni became victims of slander.
The defamatory article in the Sunday Times was based on the Moldovan report which Law and Justice considered as a final confirmation of the allegations against us.
The case was also mentioned by Moldovan media, including NewsMaker and Ziarul de Gardă:
- Ziarul de Gardă: PCCOCS has stopped prosecuting the Head of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska (translation from Romanian).
- NewsMaker: Prosecutor’s office has closed the investigation against the Head of the Open Dialogue Foundation. Stojanoglo explained why
Journalists of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna recalled the events:
Another enemy of Plahotniuc and his PD [Democratic Party – ed.] in autumn 2018 was Kozlovska. The offensive against the Head of the Foundation in Moldova began shortly after the Polish authorities included her on the list of persons banned from the Schengen area in August of the same year. Democrats used her troubles in Poland to set up a parliamentary committee of inquiry. The result was a report – described in detail by DGP – in which she was accused of money laundering and financing the pro-Western opposition. One of its leaders at the time was Maia Sandu (after Plahotniuc lost influence and fled Moldova last spring, Sandu held the post of Prime Minister from June to November 2019).
As we have shown in the DGP material of June 2019, the report of the Committee of Inquiry was a patchwork of anecdotal information. It argued, among other things, that the illegal financing of Moldovan parties were airline tickets for a conference in Brussels, which the Open Dialog Foundation sponsored for representatives of Sandu’s group. During the writing of the report, the Moldovan secret service, controlled by Plahotniuc, suggested, as did the right-wing press in Poland, links between Kozłowska and Russian intelligence. However, no convincing material was presented in this case.
Also in Poland the Voivodeship Administrative Court questioned the data submitted by the Internal Security Agency, on the basis of which Kozlovska was entered into SIS (the EU list of persons prohibited from entering the Schengen area).
In turn, the Belgian authorities decided last June to grant EU resident status to Kozlovska, which meant an automatic deletion from the SIS. The decision to grant such status was taken after consulting the Belgian equivalent of the Polish ABW (Internal Security Agency) and SKW (Military Counterintelligence Service) – the state security agency VSSE (Veiligheid van de Staat or Sûreté de l’État) and the military intelligence and security service ADIV/SGRS (Algemene Dienst Inlichting en Veiligheid or Service Général du Renseignement et de la Sécurité), which is responsible, i.a., for counter-espionage protection of NATO headquarters.
A more complete account of the case is included in the study “Commentary on the Sejm committee meetings of 25 April 2019 and attacks by Law and Justice parliamentarians on the Open Dialogue Foundation”.
To confirm the closing of the investigation, ODF has reached out to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Moldova and received an official confirmation on 24 March 2021. The official document can be downloaded here, and below is a translation to English:
“We inform you that PCCOCS had received your request regarding the copy of the filling order of the criminal case nr.2018670273. We communicate you that the criminal prosecution in this criminal case was launched in line with the relevant legislation (Criminal Code, Criminal Procedural Code) for verifying several factual and legal circumstances for being confirmed the reasonable suspicion regarding the committed crime provided in art. 243 (2) a); 181 par 5; 338 from Criminal Code. During the investigation into this criminal case it was possible to conclude that there were no elements of crime hence the criminal case was filled without the provision of a suspect status to anyone. We inform you that, according to art. 52 par 1 point 24) from the Criminal Code: “During the criminal investigation, prosecutor … assures that the involved parties can access the criminal case materials”. It is important to mention that arising from the rigors of procedural - criminal law which provide the express release of copies of procedural acts just to the parties involved or depending on the case, to their representatives, and arising from the fact that you are not a part of the criminal proceedings in line with the reason mentioned above, the release of the copies of procedural acts is not possible.”
Finally, a couple of words from Lyudmyla:
Thank you to all of those who believed in us and supported us from the very beginning. In the meantime, the authorities in Moldova have changed, but the hideous, anti-European and inefficient government remains in power in Poland. Changes are coming soon. Solidarity is our weapon.
Edit: the article was edited on 26 August 2021 to update it with the confirmation received from the Moldovan Prosecutor’s Office, dated 23.03.2021.
- Statement on the defamatory article in the Sunday Times about the Open Dialogue Foundation (29.05.2019)
- Moldovan parliamentary commission investigating ODF: open lies, attacks on the opposition and smokescreen for the government’s EU funds fiasco (21.11.2018)
- Ziarul de Gardă: PCCOCS has stopped prosecuting the Head of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska (11.05.2020)
- NewsMaker: The Prosecutor’s Office has closed the investigation against the President of the Open Dialogue Foundation. Stoianoglo explained why (11.05.2020)
- The Daily Beast: “Law and Justice went overseas to take care of business at home” (31.05.2019)
- Bartosz Kramek for Gazeta Wyborcza: PiS, Moldova – a common issue (29.04.2019)
- The authors of The Sunday Times article attacking the Polish foundation are the head of a PR agency and an employee of portals supporting Brexit (26.04.2019)
- The Moldovan part of the Kozlovska war. Crooked oligarch used ISA to dispose of the opposition (17.09.2018)
- Onet.pl: ‘How eastern regimes used the Polish pro-government media after the deportation of Kozlovska’ (10.09.2018)