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February 3, 2023

Commission set to ask criminal probe against Udrea

The head of the parliamentary commission investigating the expenses of the Tourism Ministry, Liberal Ludovic Orban, said yesterday he asked the panel to start procedures for the criminal investigation of Tourism Minister Elena Udrea. The move came as hours earlier, the Social Democrat Party (PSD) filed a complaint with the General Prosecutor’s Office asking that a criminal probe be started against Udrea, for violation of ministerial responsibility laws and the criminal code. The party notified the Chamber of Deputies of the complaint and the issue will be discussed by the chamber’s legal committee. The complaint was signed by several PSD Deputies who are part of the parliamentary commission investigating Udrea and accuses the minister of having refused to be heard by the panel and to send all requested documents. Udrea showed up at the commission on Tuesday only to accuse it of working illegally and of being abusive. For the second time in two weeks, Udrea refused to answer any questions from the commission.

Also yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies’ Permanent Bureau decided that Parliament’s defence committee and those in charge of checking the Romanian Intelligence Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service will start an inquiry into the controversial leakage of a recorded conversation between Udrea commission members last month. Udrea filed a criminal complaint against several members of the panel, charging that the recording shows they were trying to find “something of penal nature” against her at any cost.

The commission meanwhile decided yesterday to continue talks with public acquisition, IT and accounting experts behind closed doors. Talks focused on documents received from the Tourism Ministry, the last stage before the panel begins writing a preliminary report in the case.

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