Former Moldovan intelligence head sentenced for Turkey renditions

The former director of Moldovan intelligence, Vasile Botnari, received a suspended sentence for the expulsion of Turkish teachers linked to the Gülen movement, a clandestine Islamist sect that Ankara says carried out the failed coup attempt in 2016, Balkan Insight reported on Wednesday.

“I asked the court today for permission to make public at least the summary of the decision. Botnari was sentenced a month ago, and received a suspended sentence,” Balkan Insight cited Alexandr Stoianoglo, the General Prosecutor of Moldova, as saying.

The former intelligence was also forced to pay 125,000 euros ($148,500) in a fine, the amount the European Court of Human rights fined Moldova in the cases of the teachers. 

Botnari will have to pay a further 19,000 euros for the charter flight that transported the seven professors to Turkey, Balkan Insight said.

Turkey has put pressure on governments across the world to close the Gülen movement's many schools and attempted to extradite its members abroad, as it was arresting thousands of people linked to the movement at home.

Seven Turkish teachers, five of whom applied to the ECHR, were expelled from the country accused of terrorism-related activities in a joint operation by the Turkish and Moldovan intelligence agencies in September 2018. They are currently imprisoned in Turkey.