The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) decided, on Wednesday, to arrest Elena Udrea in the Gala Bute case for 30 days. She will be incarcerated at the central arrest facility of Bucharest Police. The rights and freedoms judge from the Supreme Court admitted the proposal made by the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) and remanded Elena Udrea in custody for 30 days, from 25 February until 26 March.
The arrest warrant was issued for the criminal offence of taking bribe in connection with the financing by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism of contacts between Termogaz Company SA and UAT Cavnic and UAT Borsec; the criminal offence of taking bribe in connection with payments made by the National Investment Company to SC Consmin SA; the criminal offence of taking bribe in connection with the financing by MDRT of contracts between Termogaz Company SA and SC Kranz Eurocenter SRL with UAT Lupeni and UAT Petroşani; the criminal offence of abuse of power in connection with the organisation of the Gala Bute event, according to the decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
At the same time, the Court declined DNA’s proposal concerning the charges of attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or declarations for unjustly obtaining funds from the budget of the European Union and use of influence for obtaining undue benefits.
The decision is not final and may be appealed against at the High Court.
The MP was taken from her home, where she was under house arrest, and driven to prison in a police van.
Elena Udrea, after ICCJ statements: ‘Nothing of what I know on Traian Basescu could be a subject of denunciation or charge’
Elena Udrea was present at the High Court of Cassation and Justice yesterday, where she was heard by the rights and freedoms judge who deals with the request made by the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) for the arrest of Elena Udrea in the Gala Bute case.
When she left the courtroom, with tears in her eyes, the MP spoke with the press about her situation and said she would wait for the court’s decision on her arrest requested by the DNA prosecutors in the Gala Bute case at home.
Asked if she would make a denunciation against her ex-husband, Dorin Cocos, or Traian Basescu, Udrea said there were no elements based on which she could denounce either or them and noted that a denunciation also requires other supporting evidence.
‘There is no situation that I could present regarding the president. I would never declare an untrue thing, nothing of what I know on Traian Basescu could be a subject of denunciation or charge’, Elena Udrea said.
‘I knew Dorin Cocos was financing PDL campaigns’
Asked about the manner in which the 2009 campaign had been financed, Elena Udrea said the press pretended to not know how election campaigns are generally financed and that the journalists could just as well ask ‘Mr. Iohannis or Mr. Ponta’ on how that is done. ‘It is not a secret, this is the way election campaigns are financed, why are you all pretending to not know? The entire political establishment, the whole of the media and everybody pretends to not know how campaigns are financed. Ask Mr. Iohannis, ask Mr. Ponta how they financed their campaigns. In the same way’, Udrea also said.
Asked about the contracts awarded by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, Elena Udrea’s answer was: ‘I knew that Dorin Cocos was financing PDL’s campaigns, I knew that, but I didn’t know the sums’. Asked if Blaga knew that Dorin Cocos was funding PDL, Udrea said Vasile Blaga would have to be asked about that.
Lawyer Marius Striblea: There are six charges against the ex-minister
Udrea did not say much when she entered the Court: ‘I won’t tell you before I tell the Court what I have to say’.
Asked if she had imagined that she would have days like that, Udrea said that ‘when someone enters politics, they realise that they would live any kind of days’.
‘I am already under arrest’, she also told the journalists who asked her if she was afraid that she might be put back on remand.
Asked whether ex-President Traian Basescu’s support was important to her, Elena Udrea answered: ‘It matters a lot that many people support me and it matters that the ex-president also supports me’.
She also said that there were things she would only like to say to the judges, not to prosecutors.
Lawyer Marius Striblea, in turn, said six charges had been brought against his client.
The DNA prosecutors sent to ICCJ their proposal for the preventive arrest of Elena Udrea on Tuesday, after the ex-Minister of Regional Development and Tourism had been questioned by DNA for approximately 5 hours, when she was also informed on the new charges in the Gala Bute case.
After the DNA questioning, Udrea said ‘all the people who took bribe need to do is say they passed it on to other people in order to get away with it’, the only defendant still under arrest being Rudel Obreja.
Asked if she would also make denunciations on other people, Elena Udrea said she would not do that. However, Udrea noted that she was standing by her accusations against interim-SRI head Florian Coldea, saying: ‘I will continue to make denunciations against him until someone takes them seriously’.
The ex-Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, Elena Udrea, was arrested in the Microsoft case on 11 February and on 17 February, after the hearing of the appeal, she was placed on house arrest.
On 9 February, the Chamber of Deputies approved her prosecution, detention and arrest in both the Microsoft and Gala Bute cases.
In the Gala Bute case, Udrea is investigated for abuse of power, attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or declarations for unduly obtaining funds from the budget of the European Union, use of influence for obtaining undue benefits and bribe-taking.