Traian Basescu rejects accusations of being involved in the scandal between his brother and interloper Bercea Mondial. Antena 3 aired Wednesday evening images that showed Mircea Basescu (photo), the president’s brother, discussing with the son of Bercea Mondial about the payment of USD 250,000 to be used for releasing the interloper.
President Traian Basescu yesterday made statements in a press conference at the Cotroceni Palace, in the context of the scandal of phone records in the file in which his brother Mircea Basescu is accused by the clan of Sandu Anghel, a.k.a. Bercea Mondial, of influence peddling and fraud.
To be more precise, Antena 3 aired Wednesday evening images showing Mircea Basescu, the brother of the president, discussion with the son of Bercea Mondial about the payment of USD 250,000 for the release of the interloper. According to the records, Mircea Basescu claimed that he would talk to President Basescu about the case and he allegedly knows what this is about.
Answering the accusations, President Basescu said that he never talked with his brother, Mircea Basescu, about supporting Sandu Anghel in his trials. “I did not have on schedule a public statement in June, but the events related to my family oblige me,” the president said in the beginning of his press statement delivered Thursday afternoon at the Cotroceni Palace. “I never had with my brother any discussion about supporting Mr. Sandu Anghel in his trials. There is the suspicion of my intervention in the act of justice in this case, or at least this is the idea publicly launched yesterday evening,” the head of state said. Traian Basescu asked any policeman, prosecutor or magistrate in the Sandu Anghel case to make public any intervention he made in the probe or the decision of justice, if such intervention exists, adding that “proof that no such thing existed is the very sentencing” of Sandu Anghel.
Further on, the president blamed his brother for becoming involved “with such an entourage” (Mircea Basescu is the baptism godfather of a niece of Bercea Mondial) and claimed that he will not turn into his brother’s lawyer. “I am only willing to believe in the version of justice, not that of my brother. Not because I do not trust him, but under the rule of law the version of justice is the true one. So I will not turn into one of his lawyers, especially as I think that he got himself involved in a zone with people where he should not have become involved,” Traian Basescu stated.
“I regret the fact that my brother became involved with such an entourage, with the consequences we see. I am confident that justice will reveal the truth in this public dispute, say, between my brother and the relatives of Mr. Sandu Anghel. I assure you that I will not make any intervention, to no institution of the state in order to protect my brother, he is an adult, responsible for his acts and if he did something illegal he will have to answer in court like any citizen of Romania.”
With tearful eyes, the president said that he concludes his statement at Cotroceni “assuring” that between the need to consolidate the justice and the natural reflex of defending his brother he chooses the consolidation of justice, adding that he hopes that the version of the scandal with Sandu Anghel presented by his brother is the real one, but he will trust the version of justice.
According to the tapped phone conversation, Florin Anghel, the son of Bercea Mondial, blames Mircea Basescu for having received EUR 350,000 in order to intervene in justice for a milder sentence, or even for the release of his father, Bercea Mondial.
“I only received 250,000… They put that pile of USD in my arms…” the voice of Mircea Basescu is heard on the record, who also claims that he will also talk with President Basescu about the case and says that his brother knows what it is all about. “Florin Anghel: there is something I wanted to ask you, please, do you know what he told me? The first time, when he took those EUR 350,000… did you go with him by car and took it to Bucharest? Is it true?…. Mircea Basescu: But know that this reached me…. Florin Anghel: Everything? Mircea Basescu: Only 250,000 reached me…….. Mircea Basescu: This is why I was curious, when I was placed that pile of dollars in my arms, so only this reached me, you should know!”
In a different conversation, Mircea Basescu says that his brother knows about the case of Bercea Mondial. “Florin Anghel: Commander…this is not about the lawyer, or the judge, this is… politics… because he is the godson of Basescu and it is a different story… but I say, damn you… go and take him out… because he’ll die in there, man! Mircea Basescu: So… what I hope… this is not about… Florin Anghel: but did you speak with Traian? Why don’t you tell Traian? Why don’t you send some to Traian, so he does something there? Mircea Basescu: He knows! Don’t think he does not know!!!!” In a different context, Mircea Basescu promises Bercea’s son that he would go “to the president Saturday or Sunday”.
President’s brother, subpoenaed as suspect at the DNA
Mircea Basescu told Mediafax on Thursday that he was subpoenaed by the central structure of DNA as suspect. Asked if he expects to be detained by DNA prosecutors, the president’s brother answered: “I cannot expect anything. I have absolutely no experience with these things.”
Judiciary sources told Agerpres that Mircea Basescu was expected on Thursday at the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), where the prosecutors intend to hear him in the case involving accusations of influence peddling made by the son of a convict. The sources say that Mircea Basescu was subpoenaed for 6 p.m. Members of the denouncer’s family were heard on Thursday afternoon in the same case.
Bercea Mondial also points at Kovesi, Stanciu
Agerpres reported that, while heading to DNA for hearings, Bercea Mondial told journalists, through an open window of the car, that he paid 2 million euro to get out of jail and that the case also involves High Court of Cassation and Justice Judge Livia Stanciu and DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. ‘Livia Stanciu promised me. We have info regarding Livia Stanciu’, he stated.
Florin Anghel, son of a convict known as Bercea Mondial, has filed a criminal complaint against Basescu for trafficking in influence, embezzlement, and misleading the investigators in a case where Anghel is accused of blackmail. The Anghels accuse Basescu of accepting hundreds of thousands of euros to intervene for the release from arrest of Bercea Mondial, a well-known underworld character.
Mircea Basescu: ‘My brother is very upset’
The president’s brother on Thursday denied having received EUR 250,000 to obtain a lighter sentence for the interloper Bercea Mondial and that the president knew about it. “I took no money. It was a tranche of a loan. The records are put out of context,” Mircea Basescu said on Digi24. Mircea Basescu also denies any connection of President Basescu with this case.
In a press release sent to Mediafax Thursday morning, Mircea Basescu affirms that President Traian Basescu has nothing to do with the case of the supposed blackmail and drawing him in this “media scandal has no real support.” “First I signal the fact that drawing the Presidential Institution and the President of Romania in this media scandal has no real support. The president of Romania, Traian Basescu is in no way connected with my relationship with the members of the Anghel family. Mentioning the name of Traian Basescu in the dialogue with the members of the Anghel family was not made in the sense concluded by the TV show. I mentioned that the president knows about the case of Anghel Sandu because his file made headline news at that time and his situation was of notoriety. The attempt to denigrate the Presidential Institution is regrettable, as the president of Romania, through his activity of these last years, tried and succeeded making the Justice work in Romania,” Mircea Basescu says in the quoted document.
Asked if he talked with his brother since the beginning of this scandal, Mircea Basescu answered: “of course I spoke, of course he is upset, very upset. It is extraordinary bad from Antena 3 not answering our phone calls during the whole TV show and trying to throw the president of the country in this swamp created by them.”
PM Ponta: President Basescu should resign
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Thursday that the President Traian Basescu should resign from the position following a row involving his brother Mircea Basescu. ‘For the idea of justice, for the credibility of the justice system before the Romanians, for having confidence that nobody is above the law enforcement, this (the resignation – editor’s note) would categorically be the best decision. (…) This is the moment he himself must support the reputation and independence of the judiciary and give up the position from which any Romanian may believe he influences the efforts to find the truth and to punish those guilty,’ Ponta said at the Palace of Parliament.
He added a fresh suspension of the president may be considered only ‘if the president has done something’. ‘If the president of the country has done something, of course we will consider a fresh suspension. As far as I am concerned, from what I’ve seen, it is not him who has done something’, the prime minister stressed.
Answering the demand of the premier, PDL deputy Cezar Preda said that Victor Ponta “remains ridiculous” for his statement that President Basescu should resign in order to defend the idea of the independence of justice in the case Mircea Basescu – Bercea Mondial. “The prime minister of Romania (…) is ridiculous, because one must always start from the presumption of innocence,” Cezar Preda said. He added that the records aired by media “are of an exceptional seriousness,” but neither the president, nor the premier of Romania are in a position to draw conclusions, and only justice can do it.