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Serban Huidu formally charged with manslaughter

TV journalist and his wife were discharged from hospital Monday night. The family says he is extremely affected by what happened and withdrew in the countryside, accompanied by a psychologist. Huidu still free to drive after DN1 crash.

By    Daniela Baragan

Forensic conclusions into the death of the three victims in the Timisul de Sus accident caused by the TV producer Sunday show they died a very violent death.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the Brasov Tribunal yesterday opened criminal proceedings against TV producer Serban Huidu on charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of three people. According to a Public Ministry press release, “as a result of the driver not adjusting speed to road conditions (wet carriageway),” the car driven by Huidu crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a Dacia Logan car carrying three people, of whom two died on impact, and the third in hospital.

The file also contains the conclusions of the forensic examination of the victims, which established that they died a violent death, with internal and external hemorrhages caused by ruptured organs. Serban Huidu had zero blood alcohol concentration, according to the test run by the traffic police in the wake of the accident at Timisul de Sus, Brasov County.

Despite the seriousness of the violation he committed, Huidu is still free to drive a car under the law which allows, even in cases  like this one, where three people are killed – our note) the driver to be given a permit from the Police to be able to drive for another 15 days.

‘The initial 15-day period may be repeatedly extended with 30 days, but only against a motivated resolution by the case prosecutor. As long as we don’t have a paper from the family doctor to confirm that he suffers from a condition rendering him incapable to drive a motor-vehicle, the Police cannot make a decision in that respect. The term is strictly prescribed by the law,’ said a representative of the Brasov County Police Inspectorate, quoted by realitatea.net.

Regarding the possible further developments in this case, most legal specialists agree, based on the jurisprudence of the last five years, that Huidu is facing one to ten years in prison. ‘If the accident was 100 per cent caused by him and if there is more than one fatality, the case law gives a custodial sentence!’ says a former prosecutor quoted by ziarulring.ro. Serban Huidu is now under investigation for involuntary motor manslaughter, punished with 1 to 8 years of imprisonment. Even if he gets a suspended sentence, Huidu sill loses a number of rights until his conviction is erased from his criminal record, after rehabilitation. In addition, if he is convicted, Huidu will lose his driving license and will only be able to apply for a new one after rehabilitation, if declared medically fit.

On Monday, the TV journalist and his wife were discharged from the Bucharest University Emergency Hospital (SUUB) where he had been transferred from Brasov. The nanny of the family’s two children remained in hospital.

‘He is very much affected by what happened. He withdrew somewhere in the countryside, outside Bucharest, because he is not mentally well. As far as I know, he also has a psychologist there,’ said Huidu’s father-in-law Vintila Matei, former PSD Senator, quoted by adevarul.ro

Shortly after they had left hospital, Prima TV (where Serban Huidu was doing the ‘Cronica carcotasilor’ show – our note) published a message from Huidu to the families of the accident victims. ‘I am terribly sorry! I wish I could turn back the time… I have contacted the families. We will help them the best we can. Unfortunately, I cannot give them back what they lost.’

According to cancan.ro, Huidu also sent the press a message, given the huge publicity around his case. ‘My soul aches. I want a bit of tranquillity’ the TV journalist allegedly told his Cancan colleagues. Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting Board (CNA) yesterday called on TV stations to stop ‘exploiting people’s psychological traumas’ and ‘immixing in their private lives’ in news programmes and talk shows following the road accident that happened on Sunday and which involved Serban Huidu.

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