Deputy Premier Sevil Shhaideh showed up at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Wednesday, for proceedings in the Belina dossier. When leaving the DNA headquarters, asked whether she will resign from the Government, Sevil Shhaideh stated she was nominated in office by PSD’s Executive Committee (ExCom) and the decision regarding her resignation, a decision already taken, will be announced on Thursday at the Executive Committee meeting.
“I believe I’m the same person, I’ve always respected the party and the ExCom is the one that appointed me minister, and my decision, which is taken, I will announce it tomorrow at the ExCom meeting,” Sevil Shhaideh stated after spending approximately one hour at the DNA.
She refused to make any other statements on this topic.
In what concerns her being summoned at the DNA in the Belina dossier, Shhaideh said she was informed of the possibility to recuse an expert and she will take the decision along with her lawyer, considering that she must submit an answer on Thursday.
Referring to the case, Sevil Shhaideh stated that her dossier has just been handed over to her and she will have the possibility to read it.
As part of proceedings carried out in the same case, ex-Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici and Ionut Gadea, Secretary of State within the Development Ministry and former Chairman of the Teleorman County Council – criminally prosecuted for abuse of office in this case –, showed up at the DNA on Wednesday. Lawyer Maria Vasii stated that searches were carried out and documents were seized from public institutions on Wednesday.
This was the second time Shhaideh showed up at the DNA for proceedings in this dossier, after first doing so on September 22.
Deputy Premier Sevil Shhaideh is suspected of committing abuse of office while she was secretary of state within the Regional Development Ministry, in a criminal prosecution dossier according to which, in 2013, through the concerted action of several persons holding public office, parts of the Belina Island and Pavel Distributary were illegally transferred from state ownership to the ownership of the Teleorman County and the management of the Teleorman County Council, only for them to be then illegally leased to a private company.
PM Tudose on Shhaideh and Plumb: They’re in the area of relationship with Brussels, the problem stems from here. The perception in Brussels is entirely different than the reality here
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose explained on Wednesday, at the Palace of Parliament, why he asked Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, ministers with legal problems of a criminal nature, to resign from the Government: because the two are in direct relationship with Brussels and the perception there is entirely different than the reality in Bucharest.
“Everyone must understand that the biggest issue now is for the act of governing to proceed normally, for us to carry the governance platform through, and an important element in this platform is the drawing of European grants, and the two colleagues… you know very well, there is a reality and there is a perception. The reality is that there is the presumption of innocence. There have been many cases in which, in various stages of the penal trial, those indicted turned out to be innocent, their lives ruined or at any rate totally changed. But there is also a perception, and the perception in Brussels is entirely different from the reality here,” Mihai Tudose stated.
He said that the two ministers are in direct relationship with Brussels and “the problem stems from here.”
“Given the fact that the two colleagues are precisely in this area of relationship with Brussels, the problem stems from here. I have a personal opinion which I have shared with you, and a responsibility as Head of Government. That’s all,” Tudose concluded.
“Magistrate accountability must exist, Brussels perception weighing in too”
Premier Mihai Tudose said on Wednesday that magistrates’ accountability must exist just as litigants are also being held accountable.
He also spoke about two different perceptions of the ministers with criminal issues – the reality provided by the presumption of innocence, and the perception in Brussels, “which is quite different from reality here,” which is where the problem with minister for Regional Development Sevil Shhaideh, and European Funds minister Rovana Plumb arises from.
“Just as in the case of litigants where the one found wrong must pay, yes, magistrate accountability must also exist. As for the government-related part of the problem, I cannot help feeling for my colleagues in the government who are today under stress because of this problem. Everybody must understand that our biggest problem now is for the act of governance to take place normally, and that we carry program of governance through, and an important element in this program is attracting European funds.” He also detailed the difference between reality and perception in the case of the two ministers, with the presumption of innocence as a hard-fact reality at this time (mentioning that there have been multiple cases of indicted persons who proved their innocence during the criminal process) and the perception in Brussels which is quite different from local reality. “As our two colleagues are positioned exactly in this area of relationships with Brussels, this is where the problem arises from. So, I do have a personal opinion I’ve shared with you, and a must-do as head of government. That’s all,” said the Premier at the Palace of Parliament.
Dragnea asked if he considers resignation option for Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb: I’m not the one who has to resign
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at the Palace of Parliament, when asked if he considers the resignation option for Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb – the two Social Democratic members of Government who have legal problems – that he is not the one who has to resign.
“Mr President, have you discussed the option of the two ladies – Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb – tendering their resignations?” journalists asked Liviu Dragnea when he left his office, where he had spent half an hour talking with Prime Minister Mihai Tudose.
“No,” Liviu Dragnea answered.
With journalists continuing to ask him whether he has considered this option, the PSD President said: “But I’m not the one who has to resign.”
On Wednesday, Liviu Dragnea and Mihai Tudose had a second discussion, spending approximately half an hour in the Lower House Speaker’s office.