POLITICS

Supreme Court decides to place Elena Udrea under preventive arrest for 30 days

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ)  has decided, on Wednesday evening, to place under preventive arrest for a period of 30 days deputy Elena Udrea in the Microsoft case.The decision was announced by one of Elena Udrea’s lawyers, Marius Striblea, who was present at the headquarters of the supreme court.

He mentioned that the judges also revoked the measure of judiciary control and an arrest warrant was issued in connection with the denunciations made by Dinu Pescariu. The lawyer added that he will contest the arrest warrant.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, Elena Udrea was taken to the Bucharest Police detention center.

 

Udrea arrives at the Supreme Court, repeats the controversial gesture she also did at the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies on Monday night

 

Former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism MP Elena Udrea on Wednesday noon was brought before the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation, where judges were expected to consider a request from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) that Udrea be remanded in custody for her involvement in the Microsoft case. She was arrested on Tuesday evening by DNA prosecutors under suspicions of money laundering and three accounts of influence peddling (related to the signing and the application of the Microsoft licensing frame agreement in 2009, of subsequent contracts and of additional documents; related to the application of the e-Romania contract and related to demanding and receiving EUR 500,000).

The court session was not public.

After getting off from the police van that drove her to the headquarters of the Supreme Court, Udrea touched her nose with a finger, thus repeating a controversial gesture she also did at a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies on Monday evening. Back then, she explained that she wanted to convey a message to a dear person that everything is all right.

 

First night in six-bed prison cell

 

Elena Udrea has spent the Tuesday night,  her first night under arrest, in a six-bed cell, with only one roommate, Realitatea TV reported. She was awaited on Wednesday at the headquarters of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) to find out whether she would spend the next 30 days in preventive arrest, as the Court was to release a verdict regarding the request of 30-day preventive arrest filed by DNA.

According to Realitatea TV, Udrea slept in a six-bed cell and had only one roommate.

Simultaneously, officials of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) declared on Tuesday evening that administrative checks were performed regarding the submission procedure in the case of Elena Udrea, arrested in the Microsoft case, Agerpres reports.

The mention made by DNA officials comes after Elena Udrea was carried out of the DNA headquarters wearing handcuffs on her hands and was discovered not to wear them any longer while arriving to the yard of the Bucharest Police Arrest Department.

 

Udrea on and off handcuffs; DNA started administrative inquiry for violation of procedure

 

The National Anti-Corruption Directorate started an administrative inquiry on the fact that Elena Udrea was not wearing handcuffs on her hands when she arrived at the Police headquarters. The administrative inquiry is to establish whether police officers acted according to the procedure when they removed her handcuffs before handing her over to the detention unit.

DNA prosecutors responded after the media published photos showing Elena Udrea wearing no handcuffs as she got off the car that brought her to the Bucharest Police Arrest Department.

Elena Udrea was led out of the DNA headquarters on Tuesday evening, wearing handcuffs on her hand and escorted by eight gendarmes, following her arrest and she kept wearing the handcuffs as the investigators’ car departed from the DNA headquarters. Yet, photographs published by the media, made in the yard of the Bucharest Police Central Arrest Department reveal that Elena Udrea exited the car wearing no handcuffs and closed the door of the vehicle on her own, although one of the investigators accompanying her had gotten off the car before her.

Some interpretations point out that Elena Udrea’s handcuffing was no longer required since she had entered the yard of the Bucharest Police Department. DNA seems to disagree with this explanation.

“The prosecutors had issued a 24-hour arrest ordinance on the name of Elena Udrea and, on the day to follow (Wednesday) the Deputy would be presented in front of ICCJ magistrates with a proposal of preventive arrest, lawyer Marius Sebastian Striblea announced in front of the DNA headquarters on Tuesday night.

DNA arrested Elena Udrea on four accounts of accusations: three of influence peddling and one of money laundering.

She spent almost ten hours at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. Lawyer Marius Sebastian Striblea pointed out that no more than three hours were devoted to actual questioning.

 

What does the procedure say?

 

According to the procedure for immobilizing persons, “handcuffing is a police measure of prevision and safety that consists of applying handcuffs on a person’s wrists in order to limit their physical mobility”, Mediafax reports.

The handcuffing is performed compulsorily on persons pursued, arrested, convicted or under preventive arrest, during transfer or escort, as well as in other situations, including cases when the respective persons are exhibiting an aggressive behaviour, when they are violent or when, due to their mental state, they represent a threat to their own life and physical integrity, to that of police officers or to that of other persons.

“Handcuffs are applied so that they would not hurt or damage the physical integrity of the immobilized one. Handcuffs are only removed in the case the subject shows sudden severe illness, to provide them access to the toilet, during meals or while the person is submitted to detention units, under careful supervision while the person is not handcuffed”, the procedure for the imobilization of persons stipulates.

 

DNA: Elena Udrea’s birthday, paid by Tudor Breazu out of bribes, not to mention trips

 

Allegedly, Tudor Breazu had acted as an intermediary of a bribe of approximately RON 300,000 to Elena Udrea, and used the money to pay for the organization of her birthday party in Predeal and for luxury trips destined to her and Ana Maria Topoliceanu, DNA pointed out.

DNA prosecutors show in the account for Tudor Breazu’s preventive arrest proposal in the Gala Bute_ file, Mediafax reports, that the companies completing works supported by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism led by Elena Udrea were fully dependent on the benevolence of the persons that had top positions in the institutions in order to avoid fincial shortage caused by the delay of payments.

Under these circumstances, during 2010 – 2011, Tudor Breazu helped Elena Udrea and Ana Maria Topoliceanu, manager of the National Company of Investments, receive RON 300,000 from behalf of Dragos Marius Botoroaga, manager of SC Consmin SA; the purpose of the bribe was assuring payment in due time of the works completed by the company based on their contracts with the National Company of Investments.

After the National Company of Investments made payments to Botoroaga’s company, he ordered the transfer of approximately 10 per cent of the paid sum to Stefan Lungu, Elena Udrea’s personal advisor at that time, by a company he controlled, Last Time Studio LTD, based on fictitious counseling contracts, the quoted document shows.

Thus, five payments were made, totalizing RON 335,486, out of which Lungu transferred to Tudor Breazu, through the company Ekaton Consulting LTD, based on other fictitious counseling contracts, RON 209,762 in four bank transfers and RON 90,000 in cash”, Prosecutors added.

A share of this sum was paid in cash to Ana Maria Topoliceanu, who handed it over to Elena Udrea, prosecutors declared, pointing out that the difference was used by Breazu to pay for further expenses made by the two women.

Thus, according to investigators, Breazu paid for more services Elena Udrea allegedly benefited of, respectively accommodation for a holiday spent at Danai Beach Resort in Greece during September 2 _ 5, 2011 and the costs of her birthday party, held on December 26, 2012, at the Orizont Hotel in Predeal, totalizing RON 12,999.

The sums were also used to pay for trips made by Breazu with Topoliceanu: in Florence, during May 19 _ 22, 2011 (RON 9,462 on accommodation and RON 4,468 on the plane trip); in Mykonos, Greece, during July 6 _ 11 (RON 16,530 on accommodation and RON 9,354 on the plane trip; in Paris, during September 30 _ October 4, 2011 (plane trip worth RON 5,406).

Moreover, Breazu allegedly paid for Topoliceanu’s trips to Frankfurt during November 30 _ December 2, 2011 (RON 2,283 on accommodation) or of other members if his family in Vienna, during August 24 _ 28, 2011 (RON 4,530 on accommodation and RON 5,800 on the plane trip) and during October 24 _ November 1 (RON 8,876 on accommodation and RON 5,652 on the plane trip), prosecutors declared.

Investigators also mentioned that Ana Maria Topoliceanu’s testimony pointed out that the sums paid by SC Consmin SA ended up in Elena Udrea’s patrimony.

Tudor Breazu, the manager of Elena Udrea’s farm in Nana, was put under preventive arrest on February 8 by the Appeal Court in Bucharest. The decision is not definitive and the appeal will be tried at the Supreme Court.

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