Chamber of Deputies vote against lifting Daniel Chitoiu’s immunity

The Chamber of Deputies rejected yesterday by secret vote the demand on criminal investigation of PNL deputy Daniel Chitoiu, former Finance Minister. According to parliamentary sources, 248 deputies voted against the criminal investigation request and 108 in favour.
PDL and PNL had announced they would vote in favour. PNL chairman Crin Antonescu had said the liberal deputies will vote in favour of criminal investigation to avoid to be accused of impeding justice. The National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) accuses Daniel Chitoiu of malfeasance of office and creation of organized criminal group in the ASF – Carpatica file. Daniel Chitoiu’s wife (director at ASF) and his godfather, Dan Radu Rusanu (ASF chief) are already investigated in the ASF – Carpatica Asig file.
Prior to the vote in plenum, the Legal commission gave a negative answer to the request of the Minister of Justice for the criminal investigation in the case of the former Minister of Finance. During the session of the Legal commission, there were five votes in favour of the request, 16 against. The commission’s decision came after Chitoiu’s hearing. He told the deputies in the legal commission that he was innocent, that he did not refuse to give statements to the DNA prosecutors and that there is no evidence in the file that a criminal group had been created.
“I am in an embarrassing situation in front of you, I respected my tasks and fought against the groups of interests and I took measures to strengthen the state institutions, I reorganized ANAF, the Financial Guard, and I am now accused of protecting organized crime groups,” said the former minister. He explained the liberals decided to vote in the plenum in favour of the criminal investigation in his case to avoid rumours that they want to meddle in justice favouring a colleague.
Commenting the Parliament’s decision on Chitoiu, PM Ponta said that the idea of MPs being a guard shield for their colleagues under investigation is “strictly demagogic”.

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