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January 17, 2022

Senate Speaker: Legal Committee’s reports on ex-Ministers Ariton, Vosganian to be discussed on Monday

The reports of the Senate Law Committee greenlighting the start of the prosecution of current Senators and former Economy Ministers Ion Ariton and Varujan Vosganian could be discussed at the Monday meeting of the Standing Bureau, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu  (photo) announced on Wednesday.

The Senate Speaker explained that should the Standing Bureau meet at an earlier date to examine the case of judge Toni Grebla – who was appointed to the Constitutional Court at the proposal of the Upper House – the reports on Ariton and Vosganian will not be on the agenda of the same sitting.

“There is no need to call the Standing Bureaus, because we are not rolling out scaffold-ready sentences, all the matters must be handled the normal way, as they come along. The requests should be dealt with according to rules and regulations,” Tariceanu said.

As regards the possibility that the Law Committee too discusses DNA’s request for the approval of Toni Grebla’s placement under preventive arrest, the Senate Speaker said that no such request has been filed so far: “When we convene the Standing Bureau we will discuss such a request, provided that there is one.”

The jurist Senators approved on Tuesday the requests for the start of the prosecution of former Economy Ministers Ion Ariton and Varujan Vosganian.

The Law Committee’s vice-chairman, Social Democrat Ovidiu Dontu, explained after the vote that the Committee’s report would be submitted to the Standing Bureau and then referred to the Senate plenary.

Prosecutor-general Tiberiu Nitu asked the Senate to take the necessary steps for the start of the prosecution of Senator Ion Ariton, a former Minister of Economy between September 2010 – February 2012, on counts of facilitating abuse of power and graft in the Bute Boxing Gala case.

Also, Prosecutor-general Tiberiu Nitu referred to the Senate the request of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism  (DIICOT) for the approval of the prosecution of former Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian on counts of setting up a criminal group, abuse of power and complicity in embezzlement in the Romgaz case.


Tariceanu claims the Senate did not receive the  DNA request for preventive arrest of CCR Judge Grebla


Senate Speaker has also  stated on Wednesday that the Parliament chamber he presides over did not receive from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) any request for the preventive arrest of Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) judge Toni Grebla.

“These discussions must be seen in the point of view of normal interinstitutional collaboration in a country, nothing else. It [e.n. – the subject] was not approached, because I have not receive, and I don’t mean myself, I mean the Senate, has not received yet any request and I can tell you that at the moment any request comes, regardless of who it’s about, it will be subjected to the procedures stipulated by law and rules and treated as is, with full promptness”, said Tariceanu.

The Senate Speaker added that he does not like to discuss hypotheses and as that “as is done in all other cases, the rules of the Senate and laws will be respected.”

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.


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