The Constitutional Court judge Toni Grebla yesterday presented to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to be questioned in the case where he has been charged with influence peddling. Toni Grebla said, when leaving the DNA building, that he had given further clarifications to the investigators on the charges brought against him and that he would do the same whenever he was asked to, noting that he was aware of the fact that he was hurting the image of the Constitutional Court, but he could not repudiate his god-son, Ion Bircina.
Asked if he would resign office at the Constitutional Court, the magistrate said ‘after some time’ he would make a decision in that respect. Grebla noted that he was currently on leave and the Constitutional Court had no activity for the time being.
Judge Toni Grebla also said he was aware of the fact that his situation was affecting the image of the Court, but stressed that Ion Bircina was his ‘god-son and friend’ and that he would not ‘repudiate’ him. ‘Bircina is my god-son and my friend and I cannot repudiate him now, although, from the point of view of the image, I too agree that this ahs not made the best image in the world’, Toni Grebla also said.
The judge went on his annual leave on 27 January, after his situation had been discussed by the Constitutional Court.
T. Grebla is under criminal investigation for influence peddling, setting up an organized criminal group and performance of financial operations as acts of trade incompatible with his position for obtaining money or undue goods.
The charges were brought to his knowledge on 22 January, when he was taken in by the investigators with a warrant to the National Anti-corruption Department.
The other suspects investigated in the case are businessman Ion Bircina, Toni Grebla’s god-son and manager of several companies, PSD MPs Iulian Iancu – member of the National Council of PSD and Iulian Iancu – Vice President of PSD Bacau, Horia Hăhăianu, Transelectrica Director, Moldovan businessman Victor Dolghi and retired General Constantin Bartolomeu Săvoiu, Grand Master of the Grand Romanian National Lodge – 1880.
According to the investigators, from 2010 to 2015, Toni Grebla, first as a senator and than as a Constitutional Court judge, demanded and received from Ion Bircina undue benefits ‘in order for him to intervene and convince various civil servants to complete and step up the completion of procedures that were part of their work duties, for the benefit of the companies under Ion Bircina’s control, with interests in various areas of activity (energy, transport, scrap iron and so on.)’, DNA says.
The five suspects – the investigators add – set up an organized criminal group to export, via Turkey, agri-food products to the Russian Federation, in spite of the embargo introduced by the country for EU goods.