Centre of Forensic Medicine has better institutional and operational capacities

17 Dec 2012

For two years the Centre received assistance from EU and UNDP in improving the conditions for forensic examination of torture

The Centre of Forensic Medicine was endowed with modern equipment for forensic examination, adequate conditions being created for forensic examination and documentation of torture cases. The equipment and furniture were officially donated today, during a public event, by the project "Strengthening the forensic examination of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Moldova", financed by the European Union and co-financed and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova.

The feasibility study and the audit report of the Centre of Forensic Medicine developed in 2011 in the framework of the project "Strengthening the forensic examination of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Moldova", pointed out a series of problems related to professional, institutional and operational capacities of the Centre. Among the inadequate activity/research conditions were mentioned the outdated methods of torture examination and documentation; improper laboratory conditions, with broken illumination and ventilation systems; lack of modern equipment, including computers and furniture.

To create adequate conditions for forensic examination and to increase the quality of forensic documentation in torture cases, the laboratories and sections of the Centre of Forensic Medicine and its territorial departments were furnished and endowed with modern equipment for forensic investigation worth about 600,000 Euro. Also, the forensic library at the Forensic Medicine Department of the State University of Medicine and Pharmaceutics „Nicolae Testemiţanu", hosted by the Centre of Forensic Medicine, was supplied with specialized books worth about 8,000 Euro. The library was furnished and endowed with multimedia equipment, which is also used as venue for trainings, conferences and meetings.

During the public event, a tour of the laboratories and sections endowed with modern forensic equipment and furniture and the library of the Centre was organized. Ion Cuvsinov said that the donation made by the project will contribute to the improvement of Centre’s activity in carrying out the forensic investigations. “The modern equipment will automatize some procedures used during the forensic investigations that will reduce the time of investigations, improve the correctness of laboratory investigations and tests and reduce the risk of human errors. Finally, all these will contribute to ensuring justice for torture victims”, said Ion Cuvsinov.

Nicola Harrington-Buhay, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova, said that with the valuable support and contribution of the European Union to the Forensic Project helped increase the institutional and professional capacities of the Centre of Forensic Medicine. “The changes in the activity of the Centre are already contributing to a better quality of forensic medical examinations and reports, and ultimately to eradication of torture in the Republic of Moldova and protection of human rights for everyone”, said Nicola Harrington-Buhay.

Dirk Schuebel, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Moldova, said that the results of the project are an example of successful cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme. „We are glad that the project has tangible results, in particular the donation of the necessary equipment, and that the work of forensic doctors is more efficient and accurate. We hope that this project will bring the Republic of Moldova closer to the EU standards”, said Dirk Schuebel.

Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, said that the Centre of Forensic Medicine has been endowed with modern equipment thanks to the EU and UNDP support. „These changes will help improve forensic examination, in particular those related to accuracy of forensic findings. The Centre will be able to respond promptly and efficiently to the requests of law enforcement bodies”, said Andrei Usatii.

The project "Strengthening the forensic examination of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Moldova", which ends in December 2012, also organized trainings for the forensic doctors, medical staff from the detention places and penitentiary institutions and from emergency hospitals in the area of forensic examination and documentation of torture cases. Initially, a group of national experts elaborated the training needs assessment in the field of investigation and documentation of torture, and on the basis of this document training activities were planned and structured. Later on, for the first time in the Republic of Moldova, the forensic doctors, medical staff from the detention places and penitentiary institutions and from emergency hospitals were trained in forensic examination and documentation of torture and other ill-treatment cases in accordance with the provisions of Istanbul Protocol. Trainings were also provided to prosecutors in charge of investigation of torture cases and to lawyers.

In the framework of the project, 24 amendments to the criminal procedure legal framework concerning effective investigation of torture cases were drafted, which were passed by the Parliament on 8 November 2012. The adopted amendments will ensure a broader protection against torture, increase the efficiency of investigations and contribute to reducing impunity.

The overall objective of the project "Strengthening the forensic examination of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Moldova" was to strengthen the forensic examination of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, as a key strategic element in comprehensive, integrated, holistic efforts to end torture and related forms of ill-treatment in Moldova. The budget of the project was 1 million Euro provided by the European Union (800,000 Euro) and UNDP (200,000 Euro).

Contact Information

Alexandru Cocîrţă, Project Manager, UNDP Moldova, tel.: 022 23 25 23, e-mail: alexandru.cocirta@undp.org