The Legal Committee of the Senate on Tuesday gave a favourable opinion on the prosecutors’ request to commence criminal investigations against ex-Ministers of Economy Ion Ariton (photo) and Varujan Vosganian, each in separate cases. Whilst Ariton is accused of having intervened for the illegal sponsorship of Gala Bute, Vosganian is accused of embezzlement and setting up an organised criminal group in the Romgaz-Interagro case.
The senators members of the Legal Affairs Committee prepared a report for each, which will be sent into the plenary session for the final vote. The immunity of the two will most likely be lifted next week.
None of them was however heard by the Legal Committee as it used to be done in such situations. Ariton and Vosganian preferred just to show in order to check the files received from prosecutors.
While Varujan Vosganian refused to comment at all, Ion Ariton reiterated that he would ask his colleagues to vote in favour of the prosecutor’s request. ‘I want the approval to be given as soon as possible. I am eager to be invited by DNA, I can clarify those things that have appeared and which are now in the public space. I have many companies and only ten of them could offer sponsorship, which doesn’t mean that they were forced to’, Ariton said when leaving the Legal Committee where he had seen his file.
Varujan Vosganian is accused by DIICOT of setting up an organised criminal group, abuse of power and complicity to embezzlement.
Ion Ariton made the representatives of ten state-owned companies, including Hidroelectrica, Nuclearelectrica and Romgaz, to illegally sponsor with a total of over RON 1.7 M the organisation of Gala Bute by Rudel Obreja’s company, according to DNA.
PNL’s Gorghiu: A definite “yes” from the Liberals in Parliament for the initiation of criminal proceedings against Udrea, Vosganian and Ariton
National Liberal Party (PNL) co-chair Alina Gorghiu on Monday stated that the result of the vote Liberals will give in Parliament about the initiation of criminal proceedings in the case of three ex-ministers, namely Varujan Vosganian, Ion Ariton and Elena Udrea, will be ‘a definite yes.’
‘The result of our vote that has to do with the three requests received from the Prosecutor’s Office about the launch of criminal proceedings for the ex-ministers will definitely be a yes,’ said Gorghiu.
While referring to the procedure of lifting immunity when requested by the prosecutors, the PNL co-chair drew attention over the long period of time it takes to complete.
She said that PNL wants the immunity of the MPs to be lifted, by open vote, within 48 hours since the judiciary presented the request, reminding also that Liberals already submitted a draft to this effect.
Asked if the Constitution should also be amended in the sense that the MPs should no longer have this special regime, the PNL co-chair reminded that the issue was already debated by the Constitution revision committee created while USL was still at rule.
‘Yes, this special regime should be eliminated from the Constitution. I agree, we should only keep the immunity for political statements and voting. […] This is the only immunity that I believe we must keep in the future Constitution,’ added Gorghiu.
Ponta: PSD will vote “for” in Parliament for the judiciary requests on criminal offences
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday stated that the Social Democrats are decided to vote ‘for’ in Parliament every time the requests of the judiciary regarding criminal offenses or incompatibilities.
“Last week-end, in Sinaia, our parliamentary groups adopted a decision to vote ‘for’ in Parliament every time when the requests of the judiciary are concerned with either criminal offenses or incompatibilities. You know very well there are some cases in respect to which the court already gave its irrevocable sentences regarding the incompatibility and then we will surely vote ‘for’,” Ponta said at the Parliament Palace, when asked how the PSD .
Asked whether he believed the creation of an investigation committee to look into the accusations brought by MP Elena Udrea to the interim director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) would be opportune, Ponta said that as long as criminal cases are pending there could be no parliamentary committee created.
‘As long as we are talking about criminal cases pending, as far as I know, no parliamentary committee can be created. In all other matters, the Parliament does its job and, as you well know, the Parliament controls both the SRI and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE ) and the Government.’
General Prosecutor Tiberiu Nita on Monday sent to the Deputies Chamber the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) request to initiate criminal proceedings against Elena Udrea, a MP and former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, under charges of abuse of office, attempt of using forged, inexact or incomplete documents or statements, so as to wrongfully obtain funds from the budget of the European Union, and also under charges of influence peddling.