President Basescu’s son-in- law under criminal investigation
Radu Pricop, the son on law of President Traian Basescu, is under criminal investigation for fraud, in a file concerning land retrocession, antena3 and realitatea.tv informs. Pricop is the husband of Traian Basescu’s daughter Ioana. According to Antena3 journalist Radu Tudor the information was delivered by the Press Bureau of the Prosecutor’s Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice (the Supreme Court). Tudor said the file refers to the criminal investigation in REM in April 2014. The criminal investigation has started on May 26, 2014 for several offenders, among them being Radu Pricop. Antena3 revealed, by the end of last year, that Ioana Basescu’s boyfriend (now her husband) was to receive EUR 10 M as compensation for 90 hectares of land, which does not belong to him.
President Traian Basescu said last evening he not aware about this case, but everyone is responsible for his deeds.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Monday said he would initiate a parliamentary statement asking for President Traian Basescu’s resignation in the context of the scandal involving the President’s brother, Mircea Basescu.
‘The Parliament’s demarche, the Senate’s in particular, is a political demarche of demanding the President’s resignation in such a situation. It isn’t the Parliament’s or the Senate’s role to establish the guilty parties, we deal with this situation from a political, moral view and we believe the President should normally resign in such a situation. I have also stated I do not expect such a gesture to occur, but that does not mean that Parliament should remain passive, I believe it must take action, as the main forum for democracy and political debate,’ Tariceanu said as quoted by Agerpres.
Subsequently, Tariceanu pointed out that he proposed during the coalition’s meeting for the statement on President Basescu’s resignation to be adopted by both Chambers of Parliament on Wednesday, during a joint plenum meeting. Tariceanu claimed that the Head of State should have had a responsible attitude in what concerns the meetings with Bercea Mondial, pointing out that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) should have warned Traian Basescu about the persons he is meeting, persons such as Bercea Mondial. The President of the Senate Defence Committee Corneliu Dobritoiu said yesterday that the committee members have been summoned for Tuesday to draw up the request to be addressed to SPP.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Sunday evening said that in the ruling coalition meeting on Monday they would discuss ‘the possibility of a parliamentary action’ concerning a statement in which Parliament could ask for President Traian Basescu’s resignation. Yesterday, Ponta said PSD and UNPR will vote for Tariceanu’s political declaration, but he pointed put it need to be improved.
Nevertheless, asked for his comments on Tariceanu’s proposal, PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea stated that he does not know whether the proposal is timely. UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated in his turn, at the end of the coalition’s meeting, that his party is analyzing the timeliness of this Parliamentary statement, with a decision set to be taken on Wednesday afternoon. Previously, UDMR Vice President Laszlo Borbely had said that a possible resignation of President Traian Basescu would not be either opportune or beneficial, since it would only generate instability.
In his turn, PDL President, Vasile Blaga said that Traian Basescu should not resign, because he would do nothing but play into the hands of Ponta and the Social-Democratic Party.
Tariceanu also calls for CSM inspection probe
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu also said he will be calling on the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), on behalf of his office or on behalf of the Senate, to start off a probe by the judiciary inspection into the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal in 2011 from prosecutor Iacobescu of a court case where the name of President Traian Basescu’s brother was mentioned.
‘The speed used to bury the case where criminal misdeeds by the brother of Romania’s president were mentioned, for which the brother, Mircea Basescu, is now held in custody, entitles us to ask for an official probe by CSM (….) Romania’s president interfered with justice in 2011 to protect his brother from law,’ Tariceanu is quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Senate on Monday.
He also says that as a result of the intelligence he received over the past two days, he will suggest the Senate’s Standing Bureau to extend the area in which the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) will answer before the joint committees of Parliament overseeing the activity of SRI. ‘More precisely, I would like us to find out whether in 2011 the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service – editor’s note) informed Romania’s President about the case of prosecutor Iacobescu, and how much, and about media reports concerning the case and the involvement of the President’s brother’s name. Prosecutor Iacobescu is the one that built in the first instance a case implicating Bercea Mondialul and who allegedly told the press back then that the brother of Romania’s president allegedly took EUR 300,000 in bribe from Bercea. SRI’s answer will be crosschecked against Romania’s President’s official statement that he only learned about the relationship between his brother and the Bercea clan one year previously,’ Tariceanu explains.
According to Hotnews, in February 2012 prosecutor Eugen Iacobescu, the one who investigated the Becea Mondial – Mircea Basescu case for almost two years, was given a disciplinary reprimand by the Superior Magistracy Council. The reprimand, subsequently remaining final at the High Court, came after the year before the prosecutor’s hierarchical superior took away the case from him because the prosecutor repeatedly came out and informed the press about aspects considered to be confidential during the investigation.
At the same time, Gheorghe Oancea, a former prosecutor, stated on Realitatea TV that the Interior Ministry’s secret service is involved in the scandal concerning President Traian Basescu’s brother, because it controls very well the Gypsy areas and the whole case is “made up.” “Gypsies never pay upfront! It’s an issue that has to do with their law. (…) Mircea Basescu was framed. Both him and his family. How could you imagine that he (Bercea Mondial – editor’s note) is calling his family for three years from the penitentiary… Do you believe issues like these were overlooked by MAI’s special bodies, that they didn’t know?” Oancea said.
Five members of Bercea Mondial family sent to court for blackmailing Mircea Basescu
In another development, the Bucharest Court of Appeals (CAB) on Friday, June 27, will consider Mircea Basescu’s appeal against his 30-day preventive arrest in relation to a case in which the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) investigates him for influence peddling.
On June 20, the Bucharest Court decided to arrest Mircea Basescu, upon the request of DNA prosecutors. The decision is not final. The court also issued an arrest warrant on Marian Capatana, the intermediary of the money taken by Mircea Basescu from the family of interloper Sandu Anghel, also known as Bercea Mondial. Mircea Basescu and Capatana are currently in the lock-up of the Bucharest Police.
Yesterday DNA prosecutors from Constanta sent to court five members of Bercea Mondial family for blackmailing Mircea Basescu: his wife, two sons, his daughter and son-in-law. Mircea Basescu’s lawyer was also present yesterday at the DNA in order to study the case in order to prepare the defense at the Bucharest Court of Appeals. The President’s brother was visited by his daughter and wife in jail yesterday.
TB opinion: Mircea Basescu suggested justice is at the mercy of influence, ready to abdicate
By their misdeeds, Mircea Basescu and Marian Capatana created the belief that justice is at the mercy of influence, ready to abdicate its attributes and the trust it should enjoy in a democratic society, and also that justice and freedom became commodities that can be traded, reads the opinion of the Bucharest Court (TB) in support of its preventive arrest sentence on the two. The judge also argues that the presumed misdeeds of Mircea Basescu and Marian Capatina are able to generate strong resonance within the society and, consequently, in the absence of prompt reactions of the judiciary and letting them free would seriously perturb public discipline, respect for the law, while stimulating a collective fear that justice is inefficient against some very serious misdeeds, thus generating an acute feeling of insecurity. The judge also argues that the relations between the two and the denouncers, the ascendance of the former over the latter, the interest pursued by those who notified the authorities, namely to retrieve the money, should not be ignored.
Moreover, the Bucharest Court argues that the recordings in which Mircea Basescu and Marian Capatana can be seen, recordings put at the prosecutors’ disposal by Bercea Mondial’s family, are legal even though they were contested by the two, being possible for them to represent pieces of evidence in the case.