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January 27, 2023

Hrebenciuc in hands of judiciary after losing immunity

The MPs met on Monday in a plenum meeting in order to take note of Viorel Hrebenciuc’s resignation from Parliament.
“Mr. Hrebenciuc was very serious when he said he is resigning and he behaved extremely decently, and my colleagues were going to show up (for the plenum meeting – editor’s note) anyway. (…) All we did was make sure there was there is a quorum. We took note of the resignation and, from this moment on, Mr. Hrebenciuc is no longer an MP, there is no longer any hurdle in his case and he will show up before the judiciary,” Victor Ponta said.
Social-Democrat MP Marian Neacsu was elected Deputy Speaker of the Lower Chamber, after Viorel Hrebenciuc vacated that position.
Viorel Hrebenciuc announced his resignation last Tuesday, after National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors requested the approval of the decision to place the PSD leader under preventive arrest on account of his involvement in the restitutions’ case. The resignation from Parliament will become valid once it is published in the Official Gazette, and from that moment on DNA prosecutors can ask the court for his arrest at any time.
Viorel Hrebenciuc is investigated in the case concerning illegal restitutions of forests, being charged with setting up an organized crime group, influence peddling and instigating the use of a position of influence in a political party in order to obtain illicit advantages. Andrei Hrebenciuc, Viorel Hrebenciuc’s son, was placed under 30-day preventive arrest on Friday, in the same case, being charged with setting up an organized crime group and being an accessory to influence peddling and money laundering.
Likewise, DNA prosecutors notified Viorel Hrebenciuc last Monday that he is also prosecuted in another case in which he is charged with instigating the direct or indirect use of inside information or the offering of access to inside information to unauthorized persons, influence peddling, the use of influence in order to obtain illicit advantages and the buying of influence.
Viorel Hrebenciuc has been an MP since 1996, this being the fifth consecutive Parliament he was a member of.
MP Stefan Stoica, declared incompatible
During yesterday’s Parliament meeting the MPs took note of the state of incompatibility MP Stefan Bucur Stoica (PDL) finds himself in. Stoica defended himself by claiming that he was not in a situation of incompatibility as an MP and that the High Court of Justice’s (ICCJ) decision concerning his incompatibility concerns a situation prior to him becoming MP in 2011, namely when he was declared incompatible for being a member of a county council and head of a regional directorate for roads and bridges at the same time. “I will seek justice in court,” he pointed out. The ICCJ decided that MP Stefan Stoica was incompatible in 2009 back when he was member of a county council.

MP Ion Dinita gets away the second time
The MPs however did not vote on the lifting of Conservative Party MP Ion Dinita’s immunity. The latter has thus avoided the vote on the approval of his preventive arrest for the second time, after the MPs left the meeting hall. DNA had asked the Lower Chamber to approve the detention and preventive arrest of MP Ion Dinita – charged with being an accessory to malfeasance in office and active bribery in the case concerning Brasov County Council Chairman Aristotel Cancescu.

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