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Presumption of innocence violated in an article on

10 Mar 2014
Media institutions: 
Journalists of violated the presumption of innocence in an article published on 19 February under the headline „Robbed a filling station and will spend 10 years in prison. Four young men from Falesti in custody” („Au jefuit o benzinărie şi vor face 10 ani de puşcărie. Patru tineri din Făleşti – în arest preventiv”, The material speaks of four persons detained by the police after robbing a filling station. The headline says “will spend 10 years in prison,” although no court has issued a judgment in this case. The correct phrasing would be “are risking up to 10 years in prison.” Also, the authors say, “After committing the robbery, suspects got into a Renaul Megane and fled the site.” We shall remind that criminal proceedings have been initiated on the four men under Article 188 (2) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova, “Robbery.” It, however, does not allow us to speak about “robbery” as long as there is no judgment on the case. According to the Code of Ethics (item 4.9), journalists must observe the resumption of innocence. “Journalists shall observe the presumption of innocence and consider every person not guilty until a final court judgment on their case is issued.” Also, the presumption of innocence is provided by the Constitution (Article 21).