MP Cristian Rizea has been taken to the National Anticorruption Directorate under a warrant to be heard as suspect in a case involving influence peddling, according to judiciary sources.
Sources say the case may concern influence peddling in relation with RA-APPS and the Chiajna Mayor’s Office. The same sources say 300,000 Euros were asked in return.
“They summoned me for an older issue, which was solved six years ago in a civil trial, and now I will solve it in a criminal trial,” Rizea said.
PSD’s National Executive Committee (CExN) decided in February to suspend Cristian Rizea for six months from the office of president of PSD’s Bucharest District 5 branch, Ligia Moldovan becoming that party branch’s interim president.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea explained the decision, among others, through the fact that the District 5 branch had planned to organize a protest meeting against a fellow party member.
“The situation within the PSD Bucharest branch has been unpleasant in recent days. Not intending to allow this to continue, considering that PSD has the top shot in the local elections in Bucharest, today CExN and some of our colleagues took some decisions,” Dragnea had said at the time.
National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi requests that the Chamber of Deputies be notified in order to give permission to detain and place under preventive arrest MP Cristian Rizea, accused of influence peddling, money laundering and influencing declarations.
‘In accordance with legal and constitutional provisions, the Chief Prosecutor (…) sent to the Prosecutor’s Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice the request and the report drafted in the case, in order to notify the Justice Minister to request the permission of the Chamber of Deputies’ Speaker to detain and place under preventive arrest MP Rizea Cristian,’ a statement sent by the DNA to Agerpres on Wednesday informs.
According to the statement, Rizea is accused of influence peddling, money laundering in continuous form (two material acts) and influencing declarations (two counts).
“On 2 December 2009, according to a previous agreement, the accused, Rizea Cristian, received from another accused in the case, Coltea Lucian, a businessman holding US citizenship, the amount of 200,000 euros, and, a few days later, on 6 December 2009, the amount of 100,000 euros – 300.000 euros in total – to intervene with two institutions, the Autonomous Direction for the Administration of State Protocol Patrimony (RA APPS) and the Chiajna City Hall, to speed up restitution procedures for a piece of land situated in a residential area of Bucharest municipality, respectively to obtain property rights on another piece of land currently subject to dispute with the Chiajna City Hall, for the benefit of Coltea Lucian” the statement reads.
In order to hide the origin of the amount of 300,000 euros received by the MP as a result of influence peddling, the two parties concluded four false loan agreements.
Rizea is also accused of having tried to influence two witnesses in the case he was already being investigated by DNA prosecutors.
“In December 2015, amid developments of the criminal investigation in question, the accused Rizea Cristian approached two of the witnesses and told them not to tell the truth to the prosecutors, promising the two that, should he become mayor of Sector 5, he will provide them for free with commercial space in the Cotroceni area, to open a new clinic,” the DNA statement reads.
In the same case, DNA prosecutors ordered the detention for 24 hours of US citizen Lucian Coltea for committing the offense of buying influence and money laundering in continuous form (two material acts). The accused was presented Wednesday to the High Court of Cassation and Justice with a proposal for preventive arrest for 30 days.