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August 4, 2021

Court acquits CFR Cluj owner Arpad Paszkany

The head of DIICOT Cluj claims that prosecutors and judges who worked on this case were subject to pressure.

CFR Cluj football club owner Arpad Paszkany, charged with supporting a criminal group and blackmailing a businessman, has been acquitted late last week by the Cluj Court of Appeals (CA) on both counts. The verdict is not final and may be challenged at the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) within 10 days.

Just a day after the sentence in the Paszkany case, the head of DIICOT Cluj, Mircea Hrudei – who was in charge with the case of the Cluj-based businessman – said that pressure was put on the prosecutors and judges who worked on the case, during the whole investigation.

“Everybody who worked on the file felt the pressure. It started with the memo sent to President Traian Basescu, invoked during the activity report meeting of the General Prosecutor’s Office at the beginning of 2007. The verifications conducted by CSM and the probes of the General Prosecutor’s Office regarding the matters mentioned by the memo demonstrated that all the accusations brought by Paszkany are unfounded. Then, Mr. Arpad Paszkany and members of his entourage came up with other accusations and criminal complaints against prosecutors, which were all rejected as unfounded,” Hrudei said, quoted by Mediafax.

According to the same source, one of the prosecutors, Daciana Deritei was accused of fabricating the case, because of some family relations, and the businessman’s lawyers eventually challenged her and got her replaced. Furthermore, the chief of DIICOT Cluj claimed that Paszkany repeatedly warned him that times are changing – “a direct allusion to the political conjecture of that moment.” “When the case was tried by the Cluj Tribunal, there were – in my opinion – a number of procedural incidents which I do not want to describe now, because I invoked them in a formal situation,” Hrudei said. According to the DIICOT Cluj official, even the judges of CA Cluj felt the pressure. “Everything started right after ICCJ rejected Paszkany’s second demand to relocate the lawsuit. Coincidently, the press ran several stories denigrating the members of the court, targeting even aspects of their personal lives, obviously unrelated to the case,” he explained. CSM has established that, “through the biased way of presenting the facts and through their defamatory nature, based on exposing unreal facts, the media articles are harmful and unjustified, but CSM’s reaction came too late and had no impact,” Hrudei mentioned. According to the DIICOT chief, the Proescutor’s Office will challenge the CA Cluj decision to acquit Paszkany, as there is plenty of evidence in the file proving that the owner of CFR Cluj blackmailed businessman Iulian Dascalu. He promised that prosecutors “will go all the way” in this case.

Businessman Arpad Paszkany was sent in court on July 30, 2009 for supporting a criminal group led by Liviu Man – the president of the ‘Gazeta’ press group – during 2004-2006, by financing the group’s publications, under various forms, as he was aware of the group and its actions.

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