Judge Toni Grebla resigned on Wednesday from the Constitutional Court of Romania, the Court announced in a media release.
Grebla personally communicated his decision to the plenum of the Court, which acknowledged it; the President of the Court then took notice of the termination of Grebla’s tenure.
The Court observes that the resignation occurred amongst pressures exerted on it in relation with the exercise of its legal attributions stipulated in the fundamental law,’ the release points out.
Within this context, the Court underlined the importance of the presumption of innocence and of observing all the judiciary rights and guarantees during criminal investigations, as well as the individuals’ right to their own image, as enshrined in the Constitution.
I don’t want to affect the activity of the CCR
Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) judge Toni Grebla on Wednesday came to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) to take note of the charges against him, and said that he now intends to take some time off ‘to meditate’, for he does not want to affect the activity of the CCR even more, since it is already challenged enough by the ‘pressures’ and ‘threats’ in the recent period.
‘Today, I learnt from the prosecutor what are the charges in my case, the same charges you find out about yesterday and that you already commented. The investigation must continue. I am sure that it will be impartial and that’s why I say that justice must continue to do its job until I prove I am not guilty of the charges brought to me […] I will take now some time off to meditate. Anyhow, you know that I am currently on my annual leave, I do not participate and I will not participate in the activities of the Court. The prestige and authority of the Constitutional Court are too dear to me and I don’t want to contribute to making it even more fragile than it already is while facing so much pressure and even threats lately,’ Toni Grebla said upon leaving the DNA headquarters.
Asked if there was any ground for the DNA to ask for his preventive arrest, Grebla said: ‘I did not steal and I did not take public money. Charges in my case have to do with a certain type of behavior for which I assumed responsibility and from now there is need for certain steps to be taken until the completion of the legal investigation and in the end the conclusion will come out whether I was found guilty or not.’
In reply to a question, Toni Grebla denied the fact that the file includes a denunciation against him made by the former Deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc.
Moreover, Toni Grebla was asked what should a judge from the CCR is supposed to do when a preventive arrest warrant is issued in his name. ‘Whatever I need to do, I will do it, rest assured of that,’ said Grebla.
‘It is normal and legal for me to know what the charges against me’
Upon entering the DNA headquarters, Toni Grebla said that he does not wish to make any statements until after seeing his file, because it is normal and legal for him to know what the charges against him are.
“I came today to see for myself what I am accused of, because I am under the impression that my trial started in the public space since yesterday”, said the CCR judge, quoted by Agerpres.
Referring to certain transcripts that would show he promised a person that he would find out if said person was targeted in an investigation, Toni Grebla denied.
“There cannot be a transcript in this sense. I never tried and had no way of knowing. I don’t know anything about the charges, I am finding them out in the public space regarding me, but I will look into it at the DNA”, said Grebla.
Regarding the request to approve of his preventive arrest, Grebla said that the Standing Bureau of the Senate is sovereign in decision.
DNA demanded Parliament approval to arrest Constitutional Court judge Toni Grebla
DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi has requested on Tuesday that the Standing Bureau of the Senate be notified of a request to approve the preventive arrest of CCR judge Toni Grebla, who is under criminal investigation for several crimes, and his arraignment.
Prosecutors have also extended the criminal investigation regarding Toni Grebla under the aspect of committing the crime of aiding and abetting, as well as using in any direct and indirect way information that were not available to the public or allowing access for unauthorized persons to this information to obtain for himself or others money, goods, or other undue benefits.
He was accused of influence peddling, operating financial operations such as commerce that were incompatible with the position he held for the purpose of obtaining for himself or others money, goods, or other undue benefits, and forming a crime ring for the purpose of using false customs documents.
“In contrast to the initial moment, elements have appeared that shape reasonable suspicion of committing the last two crimes mentioned, in the sense in which Constitutional Court judge Toni Grebla, during a direct meeting with a person that was a suspect in a criminal case handled by the DNA reassured him that if the investigation was a danger to the latter, he will find out and communicate this, letting him believe he has influence to obtain these information from judiciary authorities”, said the DNA.
The accusations were presented to Grebla on January 22, when the investigators led him to the DNA headquarters based on an arrest mandate.
Toni Grebla went on a legal recreational holiday after his case was discussed at the Constitutional Court. According to Court President Augustin Zegrean, the judge was unwilling to submit his resignation, claiming that “public accusations brought against him are false”.