The chairman of Constanta County Council, currently under criminal investigation on corruption charges, was granted permission to leave the country for medical treatment in the U.S. only one day after he had been banned.
On Thursday, Nicusor Constantinescu, chairman of Constanta County Council, was granted permission to leave the country after filing a request with DNA (the National Anticorruption Directorate) Constanta in this respect and presenting evidence which showed he suffers from a serious medical condition that requires treatment in the U.S., Mediafax informs.
The decision to lift the restriction of leaving the country was made within less than a day after the restriction was issued. According to the request accepted by anticorruption prosecutors, Constantinescu can leave the country until January 30. According to DNA Constanta representatives, Constantinescu was granted this right because he provided documents that showed he suffers from a severe medical condition, the treatment of which involves going to a clinic abroad.
Late Wednesday, Nicusor Constantinescu stated on a local TV station that he would challenge the restriction to leave the country in court because he suffers from “a serious disease” and needs to go to treatment in the U.S., where he scheduled several appointments at various medical institutes after acquiring his visa from the embassy.
Constantinescu was picked up by DNA prosecutors on Wednesday and taken in for questioning in connection with abuse of office charges during his term as chairman of Constanta County Council. More precisely, he is suspected of commissioning illegal payments amounting to RON 23,105,903.62 (over EUR 5 million). As he was being picked up by investigators, he resisted and refused to get in the prosecutors’ car, claiming he had not received or signed a subpoena prior to the issuing of the peremptory writ. The chairman of Constanta County Council was questioned at DNA headquarters for approximately an hour and a half. As he was leaving DNA headquarters, he stated he would file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office for the manner in which he was picked up by DNA prosecutors – “like an animal” – whom he accused of abuse and political law enforcement. He concluded by characterizing what had happened to him as “insulting.”
His statements have caused a lot of commotion at CSM (the Superior Council of Magistracy), the plenum of which decided to notify the Judicial Inspectorate on Thursday with relation to Constantinescu’s accusations against DNA. The Judicial Inspectorate must determine whether the County Council chairman’s statements and this institution’s official position have in any way altered DNA’s independence. A report including the conclusions of the inspection will be presented in a CSM Plenum session.
The 47-year-old Nicusor Constantinescu is currently serving his second term as chairman of Constanta County Council after winning the June 2012 elections with over 60 percent of the votes. He began his career in politics in 2000, when he ran for local councillor together with Radu Mazare, who would eventually win the Town Hall race.