POLITICS

Bucharest Court dismisses George Becali’s request for prison term interruption

The sentence cumulating request will be heard on June 27.

Bucharest Court magistrates rejected yesterday the request filed by businessman George Becali to be granted a three-month interruption of the prison term he was handed down in the case where he was charged with illegally swapping land with the Ministry of National Defence.
“In our law system there is the principle of cumulative sentences – the longest time is effectively served out of multiple sentences handed down. Moreover, the period during which Becali was in custody for forcible confinement of persons, that is about 14 or 16 days, will be also deducted,” George Becali’s lawyer, Bogdan Vlad declared yesterday morning.
Businessman George Becali was sentenced to three years in prison for the illegal land exchange deal with the Ministry of National Defence and in the “Suitcase” match fixing case, plus three years of probation for the forcible confinement of persons, with the suspended sentence becoming effective following the convictions handed down in the other two cases. He applied for the prison term interruption to put his business in order.
The sentence cumulating request made by Gigi Becali will be heard on June 27, Bucharest Tribunal also decided yesterday, also ordering the presentation of Steaua financier’s criminal record and photocopies of the transcripts of the hearings in the courts where he had been convicted. The Court also wants to receive by June 27 the execution files based on which the sentence execution warrants had been issued.
At the beginning of the Court hearings on Wednesday, Becali’s lawyer asked for a secret hearing to spare their client’s public image, dignity and family life, adding there was even a risk that the act of justice might be affected.
‘The press is determined to turn the public trial into a debate’, said one of the lawyers. The prosecutor did not agree, suggesting the Court should give the floor to Becali as he might have a different opinion.
The Steaua football club financier explained to the Court that he did not want his family to find out on the TV details about his trial and asked the media to understand why he had to temporarily ‘divorce’ it.
‘I am a man who had an intense public life. I loved the media, I lived with the media, they should understand that it did me both good and bad, and, if they truly loved me, they will understand that this is a period of <divorce>’, Gigi Becali said. His argument was that the media-coverage of Court hearings might have consequences upon his family. I am mostly interested in my penalty. I wouldn’t want my family to watch three or four hours of breaking news. What would be the point of that? To make my wife’s heart break out of the ribcage ? To make my girls cry? To make my mother say 25 prayers? Again, I apologize for this <divorce> and I am asking them to forgive me for agreeing with my lawyers on this’, Becali said.
The Court dismissed his request for in-camera hearings and adjourned until June 27.

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