National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors on Wednesday asked for permission to arrest MP Elena Udrea in the Gala Bute case .According to the DNA report, the prosecutors accuse Elena Udrea of bribe-taking for, while she was the Minister of Regional Development and Tourism (2010-2012), she made the payment of public works to a private company (Termogaz Company SA) subject to the company sponsoring the campaign conducted by Rudel Obreja’s company that organized the Gala Bute boxing event. The request was received after the Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies gave a positive opinion on DNA’s request to commence criminal proceedings against MP Elena Udrea, with 20 votes in favour, one against, one abstention and a null vote. There were no debates on the substance of the matter as Udrea herself had asked her colleagues members of the Committee to approve her prosecution.
‘I will not recant what I have upheld for ten years, which is support for justice. I will ask the Committee to pass a favourable opinion’, Udrea noted. Asked when the plenary of the Chamber would be called for the final vote in the matter, he said that the decision belonged to Valeriu Zgonea.
‘The Speaker of the Chamber calls the Standing Bureau and the plenary session. If we send the report today, the Speaker can at any time beginning with tomorrow call the plenary within the five days (the term under the law – a/n). Most likely on Monday, said the Chairman of the Legal Committee, Bogdan Ciuca.
Elena Udrea: ‘I am not attacking SRI, I’m just speaking about a person’
Asked to comment on the charges brought against her by the prosecutors regarding the commission of illegalities by demanding eight million lei for publicity activities the ministry did not need, Udrea answered: ‘Let us see the case. Secondly, I am in no way going to discuss the merits of the case. I am under judicial control and my opponents are eager that I make a mistake. So I’m not going to talk about the substance of this case’. ‘One thing is clear: in the last four years we have heard that, in the Gala Bute event, Elena Udrea took bribe. Well, four years later, not even the prosecutors say something like that officially. The accusation is that I wanted Bute’s match to happen in Bucharest and I put in a lot of effort for the event to take place, more than other ministers who did not want this event as much as I did, or other ones that were involved in the organisation of the event’, Elena Udrea said.
She pointed out that the initial intention was to organise the gala by the Government, through the Ministry of Development.
‘Because the ministry had no competence in the organisation of sports events, the solution adopted was that the ministry would participate by promoting Romania with the image of the great athlete Lucian Bute’, Udrea said. She added, answering a question, that he could not remember the entire Government meeting where the emergency ordinance in question was adopted, but that, most certainly, President Traian Basescu was not present for the discussion on the Gala.
Udrea said that, if she had resigned as member of Parliament, President Iohannis would have needed to approve her prosecution and she added: ‘a former minister cannot escape that’.
The ex-Minister of Development added that all her enemies were waiting for her to make a mistake and therefore she is not going to discuss the Gala Bute subject ay more, since she was placed under judicial control.
MP Elena Udrea also said yesterday that she no longer wanted to mix up justice into the scandal between herself and general Coldea from SRI and that she was accusing no one in the judiciary, adding that it is the prosecutors’ right to investigate a former minister, including her.
‘I do not wish to mix up justice in the scandal between me and general Coldea from SRI. I don’t want to do that any more’, Udrea said after the meeting of the Legal Committee that gave a favourable opinion on DNA’s request to prosecute her in the Gala Bute case.
‘I have seen the tactics of those who try to answer my accusations against general Coldea, through which they want to undermine my credibility: Udrea attacks justice. Udrea attacks the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). No way. Udrea is never going to attack justice, I am not attacking SRI, I am just speaking about a person’, Elena Udrea also pointed out.
Udrea also said she was all alone in what was happening to her, but she does have her mother and her family close.
Popular Movement Party (PMP) MP Elena Udrea is under criminal investigation in the Microsoft case for money laundering and misrepresentation in her financial disclosure form, accused of getting and using assets she new were proceeds of crimes. Elena Udrea was placed under judicial control on 29 January, the measure being valid until 29 March.
On the other hand, in the Gala Bute case, the National Anti-corruption Directorate on Monday asked for the Parliament’s approval to prosecute MP Elena Udrea, former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, on suspicion of abuse of power and obtaining undue benefits for self or for others, attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or declarations for unjustly obtaining funds from the budget of the European Union and using influence for obtaining undue benefits.