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Senator Dan Voiculescu (Conservative Party) told the Senate on Monday he was resigning as a Senator within a week of his swearing-in. The resignation occurs in a context where the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) was supposed to resume on January 31 hearings in the case involving the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA) where the senator is charged with corruption. In the context it needs to be reminded that ICCJ has recently sustained the anti-corruption prosecutors’ request to expedite the adjudication of the case, PC’s honorary president explained his decision by the recent ‘speculations’ on the fact that MPs’ judicial immunity would impair ‘the act of justice’ in his case. His resignation means his case will move from the supreme court – with jurisdiction over members of Parliament – to the Bucharest Tribunal. The Conservative senator had done something similar in the previous legislature (June 2012), when his ICA case was pending before ICCR. After that, the case went to the Bucharest Tribunal from where it was referred back to the ICCJ in December 2012, after his re-election to Senate. Dan Voiculescu was referred to court by DNA in the case regarding the privatisation of the Food Research Institute in December 2008, alongside other 12 defendants including ex-Telecommunications Minister Sorin Pantis. Prosecutors claim the fraudulent privatisation of the Institute was done for Voiculescu’s benefit by an under-valuation of ICA’s assets by over EUR 7.7 M. According to the prosecutors, the damage amounts to over EUR 60 M.
Former PC head: I endorse a third impeachment of Basescu
Invited to a talk-show on Realitatea TV, the Conservative Party founder, Dan Voiculescu, attacked President Traian Basescu. The senator said he would back a third impeachment of the president, stressing he did not believe him capable of cohabitating with the Social-Liberal Union (USL). ‘I don’t expect Basescu will carry out his second term. I think we will probably end up in the same unavoidable situation we had back in 2007 – impeachment and dismissal. This is the only solution for Romania to be able to develop in peace,’ realitatea.net quotes Voiculescu as having said. Moreover, the former Conservative leader proposed to Basescu ‘to renounce his immunity from prosecution.’ ‘I believe Basescu Traian is known for his very many criminal cases that have been put on hold. I have a question and even a proposal to make to Basescu Traian: If justice is so important to him, why shouldn’t he renounce his immunity from prosecution?’ he also said. Voiculescu claims he was unaware of the Basescu-Ponta cohabitation agreement and adds he is worried the pact might turn into fraternisation. ‘This is a man who cannot cohabitate with anyone. If he could, that would be great. I would be very pleased to see that Romania enters a period of stability, but I don’t think Basescu is capable of cohabitation. (…) We know that many wrongdoings have happened these last eight years for which he is to blame. What I fear is a possible pact on the redemption of all those sins where we find out that some of the USL members try to achieve various things by forgiving the mistakes of others,’ added the PC senator. On the other hand, the PC founder avoided saying if he would resign as a senator (as he had done in the past) in order to have his judicial case where he is accused of influence peddling in the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA) moved from the High Court of Cassation and Justice, but he did ask rhetorically if ‘the tribunal was not also part of the justice system and if justice is rendered only at the High Court’. ‘No, it’s not that I am afraid of a particular court!’ Voiculescu also said.