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September 20, 2020

Supreme Court reveals reasoning for “Quality Trophy” case ruling

Judges claim that the criminal activity that is the object of the case in which former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase is investigated represents “a case of corruption at the highest level.”

The Supreme Court (ICCJ) judges that issued an executory sentence against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase (photo) state, in their reasoning for the decision, that the criminal activity that makes the object of the “Quality Trophy” case (in which the former Prime Minister is charged with illegally collecting funds for the 2004 election campaign, back when he ran for President as a PSD candidate – editor’s note) represents a case of corruption at the highest level, the person indicted being one of the most important representatives of the Romanian political class. Judge Ionut Matei and Ioana Bogdan note that the case is not about a simple illegal contribution to a political campaign, being instead about placing considerable illicit funds at the disposal of Nastase – funds that were four times higher than those officially declared as being offered as contribution to the candidate’s election campaign. Moreover, they state that “the corruption of the political class personified by Nastase, at least in 2004, represents a phenomenon that can no longer be tolerated by Romanian society, the justice system being forced to answer firmly every time it deals with such a case, as proof of the fact that the rule of law is not an illusory thing and that it works for the citizens’ benefit.” At the same time, the court notes that “the sentences issued against the defendants are meant to discourage the illegal financing of parties and of election campaigns in particular, the use of public institutions and of their resources for the benefit of certain candidates, but also the illegal involvement of private persons in such activities.” In this context, Judges Ionut Matei and Ioana Bogdan claim that “the punishments levied have to deter all those that may be tempted to have relations that go beyond legal limits with political representatives, to aid them in obtaining illegal incomes.” “Any person should thus reflect on the risks it takes by procuring benefits to people that temporarily hold important public or political offices, in the sense of weighing whether their own freedom may not be a much too high price to pay for engaging in illegal activities in their favor,” they add. According to them, the ICCJ does not believe in coincidences and does not conceive the idea that the defendants favoured Nastase “by force”: “it’s inconceivable that several persons work concertedly for the benefit of another person with which they have no close relations, without that person knowing, a person that hypothetically not only determined the others’ behavior but will never find out about the “good” they did by force,” the judges note. According to the minute of the Supreme Court meeting, the sentence issued in the “Quality Trophy” case is executory. The opinions however were not shared by Cristina Rotaru. The judge stated that the case contains no evidence that Nastase determined the other defendants to procure campaign funds for him. Likewise, the judge argued that the file contains no evidence that the former Premier was aware of their criminal activity.

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