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January 26, 2023

DNA starts investigation into voting abroad

The National Anticorruption Directorate has asked the General Prosecutor’s Office for the file concerning the voting that took place abroad during the presidential elections in November. The DNA prosecutors thus want to continue the investigation after a criminal prosecution in rem started in this case. Anticorruption prosecutors have stated in a communiqué that a criminal case was registered in November at the DNA, a case in which prosecutors are investigating the way in which the voting abroad was organized and took place.

Thus, noting that a similar case is registered at the General Prosecutor’s Office, on December 2 the DNA investigators asked the institution for the file, in order to merge the two criminal cases, the aforementioned communiqué shows. If the request is accepted by the Attorney General then the whole case, with all the procedural actions conducted so far, will end up at the DNA.

Six cases merged on basis of criminal complaints

The case concerning the problems registered at voting centers abroad during the presidential elections has been placed on the roll of the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office (PICCJ) through the merger of six criminal cases that concern complaints filed against the way the elections were organized.

In this case the DNA focuses on crimes such as the blocking of the constitutional right to vote and malfeasance in office. According to the Criminal Code, blocking, through any means, the free exercise of the right to vote or to be voted is punishable by 6 months to 3 years in jail.

Romanian Attorney General Tiberiu Nitu announced on November 20 that a criminal prosecution in rem started in what concerns the voting abroad. According to him, the complaints came both “from institutions, as well as from persons.” Nitu pointed out that “there are a lot of complaints,” without giving names.

Likewise, the Foreign Affairs Ministry sent to the General Prosecutor’s Office documents concerning the organizing of the voting abroad in both rounds of the presidential elections.

On Tuesday, PNL Spokesperson Alina Gorghiu warned that the case concerning the voting abroad is registering delays and pointed out that the DNA can “browse” the statements that former PSD leaders Marian Vanghelie and Mircea Geoana made about the Social-Democrats’ involvement in this scandal. After he was expelled from PSD, Marian Vanghelie stated that PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea had stated that if voting centers were opened abroad the Social-Democrats would lose the elections. Likewise, also after being expelled from PSD, former PSD President Mircea Geoana emphasized that Victor Ponta “deliberately decided not to open more voting centers” abroad and that Ponta will be held legally accountable.

As a consequence, the Institute for Public Policies (IPP) has asked the DNA to investigate the statements made by the two about the role played by Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta in preventing Romanians living abroad from exercising their right to vote. In both rounds of the presidential elections, on November 2 and November 16, many Romanians living abroad were unable to vote because of insufficient voting centers.


PM Ponta: ‘Justice must take its course’


Asked to comment on the transfer of the criminal investigation file regarding the diaspora vote from the general Prosecutor’s Office to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Prime Minister Victor Ponta only said Thursday that justice must take its course. ‘Justice must take its course,’ said the head of the Executive.


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