Constantin Dutu, member of the National Audio-visual Council (CNA), took out a toy gun on Wednesday during the meeting of the Parliament’s joint culture commissions. The incident took place while Valentin Jucan, the PDL-backed candidate for CNA membership, was being heard. His bad joke was not appreciated, the scared MPs immediately stopping the proceedings. Chairperson Raluca Turcan expressed her outrage and asked Dutu to leave the room. “Dutu’s gesture was out-of-place, a gesture that characterizes the party that backed him (PRM – editor’s note),” Turcan stated for Realitatea TV. She considers that Constantin Dutu’s gesture should not remain unsanctioned, pointing out that he will approach CNA President Rasvan Popescu in order to discuss Dutu’s outburst. Moreover, Turcan pointed out that the Lower Chamber’s and the Senate’s culture commissions have received a note asking them to analyze Dutu’s possible incompatibility of office stemming from the fact that he allegedly had criminal convictions in Romania and Italy. “There is some information concerning Mr. Dutu’s criminal conviction for a fairly serious crime in Italy. We will wait and see whether this information is true,” the President of the Lower Chamber’s Culture Commission, stated.
Constantin Dutu’s reply came immediately: “This isn’t a real gun, it’s a toy gun; I bought it from a tobacco’s shop.” According to Mediafax, Dutu stated that he took out the gun in an effort to prove that the criminal files he had during the communist era were set-ups.
CNA President Rasvan Popescu did not express disapproval for his colleague’s gesture. Popescu pointed out that Dutu told him about the toy gun for the possession of which he got a criminal file during the communist era. “I believe he tried to show the Commission why the communist authorities investigated him,” Popescu stated underlining that Dutu used the toy gun to stage a ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ show in the 1970s or 1980s.
Bogdan Onea, spokesperson of the Protection and Guard Service (SPP), stated that as a member of the CNA Constantin Dutu is excluded from the anti-terrorist searches included in the Palace of Parliament’s security regulations. Onea added that being a member of the CNA is equivalent to holding a secretary of state office.
On the other hand, PSD Senator Lia Olguta Vasilescu claims that PDL tried to impose a new member within CNA by eliminating Constantin Dutu for incompatibility of office. “It was a poor-taste joke arranged by PDL,” Olguta Vasilescu, member of the Senate’s Culture Commission, pointed out.
The pistol, which seem to be a to a toy gun, was seized by the Bucharest police officers to be examined, said Capital Police spokesperson, Diana Sarca. Though no complaint has been filed following this incident, yet, Dutu was invited to the 17 Precinct to give a statement.