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December 1, 2021
POLITICS

Elena Udrea charged with money laundering and misrepresentation in declarations, put under judicial restriction

Elena Udrea, People’s Movement Party (PMP)  President and ex-Tourism Minister, MP and ex-presidential candidate,  was questioned by the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) on Thursday  for hours on end.  PMP head has been charged with money laundering and misrepresentation in her financial disclosure.

Udrea was taken by the judicial police officers from the front of her house. As a matter of fact, Udrea has announced on Facebook that she had been invited over to DNA to give explanations, but didn’t say in which case.

At the DNA headquarter in Bucharest, when asked by the press in which case she was going to be questioned, Udrea answered: ‘I don’t know, probably Microsoft’.

After almost four and a half hours with the DNA prosecutors, Elena Udrea said: ‘We stayed a bit more, the lawyer in the case came. I wouldn’t want to comment. I filled my financial disclosure form exactly how I know things were and I couldn’t have declared anything, even regarding my ex-husband, if he didn’t tell me. The best thing would be for you to ask Dorin Cocos’, she said to the journalists as she was leaving DNA.

Elena Udrea said in a telephonic intervention on BI TV that the prosecutors had asked her why her 2010 financial disclosure form did not include a loan her ex-husband Dorin Cocos gave to one of his own companies in 2009. ‘I didn’t declare it because he did not tell me about that loan’, Elena Udrea said. She added that the prosecutors position was that she should have ‘presumed that the money represented proceeds of illegal activities’.

Elena Udrea asked to be allowed some time to study her file and for giving a deposition.

She omitted to declare a loan granted by her ex-husband to a number of companies

The press has repeatedly speculated that Elena Udrea was involved, together with her ex-husband, Dorin Cocos, in the Microsoft licensing case.

Elena Udrea had said two weeks before that she was assuming both her marriage to the businessman and her friendship for ex-DIICOT head Alina Bica, currently remanded in custody in a case concerning the illegal restitution of a property in Bucharest, and that she was ready to give explanations to DNA. ‘I assume my relationship with Alina Bica as I assume my ten-year marriage to Dorin Cocos. I am willing to report to DNA’, she said.

In the Microsoft case, Elena Udrea’s name is tied to one of her financial disclosure statement where she omitted to declare a loan granted by her ex-husband to a number of companies in 2009. Those loans were allegedly a cover for the laundering of the bribe taken in the Microsoft affair.

Documents of the DNA prosecutors obtained by Mediafax suggest that Elena Udrea, a former minister, under an obligation to disclose her wealth, did not declare in her 2010 financial disclosure forms the loans given by her ex-husband, Dorin Cocos, to his company SC Euro Hotels International Co SRL, whilst she did declare that she was cashing dividends from the company in question. ‘Given the legal obligation to declare her assets, the fact that, from 2009 to 2013, Udrea Elena Gabriela declared the purchasing of several properties the value of which exceed her income as a minister, MP or from teaching activities, it is presumed that she used income from other sources – loans, dividends, taking responsibility for their origin’, the cited documents read.

The investigators have evidence that Dorin Cocos committed the criminal offence of influence peddling and the proceeds of the offence were used for purchasing properties and crediting companies.

‘At any time am I ready to account for anything I am aware of. Definitely at that time, in 2009, I did not know that my ex-husband lent money to one or two companies. He did not tell me that. I have always declared what I had done and everything that I was being told by my ex=husband. At that time I actually told the former head of the Integrity Agency that, in my opinion, one cannot make a person take responsibility for what another person does. Just assume my ex-husband had bought an apartment for a mistress. Do you believe he would have told me about that? I told the former head that it is not all right for them to make one declare the income of another person who may or may not wish to disclose them’, Elena Udrea said.

 

DNA orders the initiation of criminal proceedings and a 60-day restriction for Elena Udrea

 

The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) ordered the investigation of deputy Elena Udrea under judicial restriction in the case where she faces charges of money laundering (in the form of having acquired/used goods about which she knew that they had been illegally obtained) and of making false wealth statements.

“The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate – Section for the combat of corruption related offenses – ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings and a 60-day restriction, starting January 29, 2015 until March 29, against Elena Gabriela Udrea for the crime of money laundering (in the form of acquiring / using goods about which she knew that they had been illegally obtained) and making false wealth statements,” reads a DNA release.

As long as she is under restriction, Elena Udrea must report to the National Anti-corruption Directorate offices and to Bucharest Police precinct No. 2 whenever she is summoned to and promptly notify the police if she changes her domicile; she is also required to report to the police precinct she has been assigned to, according to the checking program established by the police authority or whenever she is summoned to; she is required not to leave Bucharest, other than with the prior written approval of the prosecutor in charge and she must not approach the other defendants or parts in the perpetration of the crime, the witnesses in the case and not communicate with them directly or indirectly, by any means.

Elena Udrea was notified that should she breach in bad faith the obligations incumbent on her under the restriction measure she may be placed under house arrest or preventive custody.

 

Alina Bica, questioned by anti-corruption prosecutors in new case

 

Alina Bica was questioned by the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) on Thursday in a distinct case to the one where she is currently on remand. The former chief of DIICOT was driven by a van from the incarceration facility to the DNA headquarters. In this new case separated from the Bica-ANRP one, the ex-DIICOT chief is accused of receiving a quota from a plot of land in Snagov that belonged to Dorin Cocos’ first wife, Olguta Chiriac, and the businessman, his son, Alin Cocos, and Elena Udrea received money from their involvement with the damages paid to Gheorghe Stelian for the over-appraised land.

Following Alina Bica’s participation in the affair, she received, ‘without paying for it, a share of a land in Snagov, with an area of 4,425 sq m, belonging to Chiriac Olguta’. The property transaction was performed by third parties, according to the prosecutors.

On 15 December 2014, Alina Bica was sent to trial because, as a representative of the Ministry of Justice at the National Authority for the Restitution of Properties (ANRP), together with the other members of the Central Commission for the Establishment of Damages, approved reparations to businessman Gheorghe Stelian for 13 hectares of land that had been over-appraised with more than EUR 62 M. Bica is remanded in custody awaiting trial in the case.

The DNA headquarters were also visited yesterday by Alin Cocos, who was questioned in Alina Bica’s case separated from the ANRP illegal reparations case. Alin Cocos is the son of Dorin Cocos, Elena Udrea’s ex-husband.

Adriean Videanu, President of PDL Bucharest, also visited DNA yesterday.

 

Bica’s lawyer announced the publication of ‘an explosive document’

 

Alina Bica’s lawyer Laura Voicu announced Wednesday night the publication of a bomb-document that would change the course of the case involving ex-DIICOT chief Alina Bica. In a telephone intervention in Victor Ciutacu’s show on Romania TV, Laura Voicu said that, on 6 February, her client would publish ‘an explosive document that will change the entire case’.

‘It is an extraordinary, wonderful, unbelievable document. (…) Mrs. Bica will say at the appropriate time all the things that need to be said’, the lawyer said. She noted that it was not a denouncement. ‘Mrs. Bica will never ever make a denouncement, because she has nothing to write about’, Laura Voicu added.

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