Supreme Court judges analyzed on Tuesday the appeals filed by Elena Udrea and by National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors in the Microsoft case and have decided that the former Regional Development and Tourism Minister will be freed after one week and will remain under house arrest.
Elena Udrea was brought from jail to the High Court of Justice on Tuesday, around 7.45 A.M., for the trial of her appeal against the preventive arrest measure.
DNA prosecutors challenged the fact that the judge that took the first decision in this case ruled that the preventive arrest measure against Elena Udrea should operate only for certain actions, not for all of the accusations brought against her in the request to have her placed under arrest.
As she was taken from the High Court to the police car, Elena Udrea gave a comprehensive answer to the journalists that asked her whether she is the victim of revenge. “Kisses. I’ll see you on Friday!” she replied.
Lawyer Marius Striblea: It can’t be proven that Udrea tried to influence the investigation
In court, PMP MP Elena Udrea presented a supplement to her statement, lawyer Marius Striblea stated. He pointed out when leaving the courtroom that he has filed a series of documents in defence of his client, including clippings from “newspapers back in the day.” The lawyer explained that the documents represent statements that Elena Udrea made prior to January 29, statements in which she expressed the same line of defence she used after January 29 when the prosecutors claimed that the former Regional Development and Tourism Minister allegedly tried to influence the investigation. Striblea pointed out that it cannot be proven that Udrea tried, through her public statements, to influence the investigation in any way and that the crime claimed by prosecutors is not proven.
Asked about the new charges brought against Elena Udrea, the lawyer pointed out that he does not understand why the DNA prosecutors successively took the decision to place the former minister under preventive arrest, considering that the alleged crimes existed from the start according to the body of evidence brought in the case.
Asked whether Elena Udrea will ask to be taken to the Lower Chamber considering the new request filed by the DNA, Striblea pointed out that he has not discussed this aspect with the former minister yet and the issue will be clarified later on.
Charged in two cases
Former minister Elena Udrea was taken into custody on the evening of February 10, when she was detained by DNA prosecutors. The next day she was placed under 30-day preventive arrest for her involvement in the Microsoft case. In this legal case, Udrea is charged with three counts of influence peddling – concerning the signing and implementation of the framework Microsoft licensing agreement in 2009, the signing of subsequent contracts and addenda concerning the implementation of the e-Romania contract, and demanding and receiving EUR 500,000 – and money laundering.
Dorin Cocos, Elena Udrea’s ex-husband, is charged in the same case with demanding and receiving EUR 9 M from Claudiu Florica and Dinu Pescariu in order to make sure, through Regional Development and Tourism Minister and PDL Vice President Elena Udrea, that the companies backed by one of the aforementioned persons would win and implement the Microsoft licensing contract with the Ministry of Communications and Informational Society.
At the same time, according to the investigators, in 2010 Dorin Cocos, based on an agreement with Udrea, allegedly asked Gabriel Marin, administrator of the Omnilogic company, for EUR 3 M in exchange of unfreezing the payments related to the e-Romania contract. Gabriel Marin filed a complaint at the DNA, pointing out that he paid EUR 3,050,000 to Dorin Cocos, through Dinu Pescariu.
In his turn, Dinu Pescariu denounced Udrea, pointing out that she asked him for EUR 500,000 “in order for her to solve his legal problems.”
DNA received the Lower Chamber’s green light to arrest the PMP MP also for her involvement in the Bute Boxing Gala case. The DNA is asking the Lower Chamber for another green light to prosecute and place Elena Udrea under preventive arrest for three new bribery counts in the Bute Boxing Gala case.
Referring to the new DNA request to place her under preventive arrest in the Bute Boxing Gala case, Elena Udrea wrote on Facebook that it is “an excess” and an unprecedented situation in juridical history.
“The new request filed by the DNA in Parliament in order to place Elena Udrea under preventive arrest is an excess. We are dealing with an unprecedented situation in Romania’s juridical history, for so many arrest warrants to be demanded for the same person,” reads Elena Udrea’s Facebook post, which was signed “Communication Team” for the first time.
Udrea also states that “the show generated today (Monday – editor’s note) through the new arrest request is part of a strategy of putting pressure on the panel of High Court judges that will rule tomorrow (Tuesday – editor’s note) on the appeal filed by Elena Udrea’s lawyers, against the backdrop in which there are very good chances for it to be accepted.”
Ion Ariton placed under judicial control
Senator Ion Ariton (former Economy Minister) has been placed under judicial control until April, for involvement in the Bute Boxing Gala. He is not allowed to leave the country and has to show up at the Sibiu Police headquarters on the days established by his parole officer. He is also not allowed to contact the suspects, defendants or witnesses involved in the case. They include Elena Udrea, Stefan Lungu, Rudel Obreja, Cornel Resmerita, Stefan Lungu, Gheorghe Nastasia, Tudor Breazu and Ana Maria Topoliceanu.
DNA prosecutors have notified Ion Ariton that if he breaks these obligations the judicial control measure could be replaced with house arrest or preventive arrest.
PSD Senator Ion Ariton stated while leaving the DNA headquarters that the sponsorships received by the Romanian Boxing Federation from state-owned companies for the Bute Boxing Gala were decided by their administrative boards and did not take place at his request.
Asked abput what he talked with the prosecutors, Ion Ariton said that it was “like an investigation.” Ion Ariton refused to answer when asked whether he acted at the request of former Regional Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea.
Prosecutors accuse Ariton of determining the representatives of ten state-owned companies, including Hidroelectrica, Nuclearelectrica and Romgaz, to illegally sponsor Rudel Obreja’s company with more than RON 1.7 M in order for it to organize the Bute Boxing Gala.
Dinu Pescariu heard in Microsoft case, Stefan Lungu heard in Bute Boxing Gala case
Businessman Dinu Pescariu was heard at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in the Microsoft case. Pescariu was the one who filed a denunciation in this case, complaining in it that Elena Udrea allegedly asked him for EUR 500,000 “in order to solve his legal problems.”
Stefan Lungu, Elena Udrea’s former advisor within the Regional Development and Tourism Ministry, was heard on Tuesday at the National Anticorruption Directorate in the Bute Boxing Gala case in which he is charged with influence peddling.