PMP MP Elena Udrea, former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism for four years between 2008-2012, was once again arrested for 30 days last Wednesday, this time in the “Gala Bute” file, for allegedly having committed three accounts of bribe taking, abuse of office, attempt to use forged, inaccurate or incomplete documents to wrongfully gain funds out of the European Union budget and influence peddling in order to gain undeserved benefits.
Elena Udrea’s close friends, defendants in the Gala Bute file, had declared that a certain amount of the money received as a bribe for granting contracts supported by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism was cashed directly by Elena Udrea, ended up in the patrimony of other persons, at her demand and in her interests, and some of it was used to pay for expenses of the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL), especially of the Bucharest branch she had been leading at that time.
The information is presented in the report of the preventive arrest of 30 days sentenced for Elena Udrea in the Gala Bute file, issued by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ).
The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors accused Elena Udrea that she founded a genuine Mafia system while leading the Ministry of Tourism. Udrea received a bribe of 10 per cent of all contracts financed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, investigators say, according to the report issued by judges who decided to arrest the former Minister. No company that wanted to be financed by Elena Udrea’s Ministry got away without paying 10 per cent of the sum to Udrea, Anti-corruption prosecutors say.
Udrea’s close friend, Ana Maria Topoliceanu (photo), former Head of the National Company of Investments (CNI) wrote in a denunciation submitted at DNA against Elena Udrea that she had demanded EUR 10,000,000 from the budget of CNI “for the Minister and for the party (PDL)”, Romania TV reported. By mere coincidence, Topoliceanu is one of the persons appearing in the controversial photos published last November during the presidential election campaign, together with Elena Udrea and the formerex-DIICOT head Alina Bica during their shopping trip to Paris last February.By mere ere coincidence too, Bica and Udrea are currently under arrest for corruption related crimes, while Topoliceanu is free.
“A short while after I was appointed, I had a discussion with Elena Udrea who told me that the budget of CNI is EUR 100 million and out of these, 10 million, or at least 5 million could be offered to the Minister and the party. She gave me no deadlines to bring this money and I did not promise that I will try to get these sums. I never considered it a serious discussion”, Ana Maria Topoliceanu wrote in her denunciation.
The denunciation is quoted in the report issued by judges to the decision of preventive arrest against Elena Udrea in the “Gala Bute” file.
Ana Maria Topoliceanu is criminally prosecuted for bribe-taking in the “Gala Bute” file, after allegedly receiving money from the manager of a company.
Ana Maria Topoliceanu, who appears in photographs with PMP Deputy Elena Udrea and the former Head of DIICOT Alina Bica, during a trip to Paris, allegedly received bribe to assure due payment for works completed by the company owned by the bribe payer, based on contracts signed with the National Company of Investments.
“Once, I do not remember when, I think in 2011, Lungu Stefan told me that he had discussed with Udrea Elena, who had told him that he could demand money for her from the company Consmin SA, who had contracts with the National Company of Investments, and demanded him to get in touch with me to establish how this money would be paid. According to this conversation, the money was to be received for Minister Elena Udrea. (…) I do not remember precisely, but it was most likely that I discussed with Elena Udrea how this money would be transferred, and she told me to take it through a company managed by Breazu Tudor, nicknamed Cici, a common friend. The name of the company managed by Breazu Tudor is Ekaton Consulting SRL”, according to the statement made by Topoliceanu in front of prosecutors, quoted in the report attached to the proposal of preventive arrest of Tudor Breazu, in the Gala Bute file.
The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) show that Topoliceanu made these statements at a time she had no quality in any trial, as there are no ongoing trials initiated against her.
Also, the report regarding the proposal of preventive arrest of Tudor Breazu, quoted by Mediafax, shows that companies completing contracts financially supported by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, led by Elena Udrea, depended on the “benevolence” of persons that had top management positions in the institution, in order to avoid insolvency caused by the delay of payments.
Under these circumstances, during 2010 – 2011, Tudor Breazu allegedly helped Elena Udrea and Ana Maria Topoliceanu, the manager of the National Company of Investments, to receive RON 300,000 from Dragos Marius Botoroaga, the manager of SC Consmin SA, a bribe destined to assure due payment for works completed by the company, based on contracts signed 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 sum cashed by Stefan Lungu, who was at that time Elena Udrea’s personal adviser, through the company he controlled, Last Time Studio SRL, based on fictitious counseling contracts, the quoted document also shows.
This way, five payments totalizing RON 335,486 were made. The money was transferred by Lungu to Tudor Breazu, through the company Ekaton Consulting SRL, based on fictitious counseling contracts; the sums transferred were RON 209,762, by bank transfers, and RON 90,000 in cash, prosecutors also declared.
Some of these sums were handed over in cash to Ana Maria Topoliceanu, who forwarded the money to Elena Udrea, prosecutors say, mentioning that the difference was used by Breazu to pay for expenses made by the two ladies.
Therefore, according to investigators, Breazu paid for several services Elena Udrea benefited of directly, respectively accomodation for a holiday spent at Danai Beach Resort in Greece, during September 2 – 5, 2011, and the expenses of a party organized on Udrea’s birthday, on December 26, 2012, at the Orizont Hotel in Predeal, totalizing RON 12,999.
The sums received were also used to pay for trips made by Breazu and Topoliceanu: in Florence, during May 19 – 22, 2011 (RON 9,462 for accommodation and RON 4,468 for plane tickets), in Mykonos, Greece, during July 6 – 11, 2011 (RON 16,530 for accommodation and RON 9,354 for plane tickets) and in Paris, during September 30 – October 4, 2011 (RON 5,406 for plane tickets).
Moreover, Breazu paid for Topoliceanu’s trip to Frankfurt, during November 30 – December 2, 2011 (RON 2,283 for accommodation) and for trips made by her family members to Vienna, during August 24 – 28, 2011 (RON 4,530 for accommodation and RON 5,800 for plane flights), and during October 24 – November 1, 2011 (RON 8,876 for accommodation and RON 5,652 for plane flights), prosecutors declared.
Investigators also noted that Ana Maria Topoliceanu’s declaration shows that sums received from SC Consmin SA ended up in Elena Udrea’s patrimony. According to DNA prosecutors, Udrea dictated how the money received from bribes was to be used. Traian Basescu’s favourite was the one who decided to finance her own PDL campaign out of bribe, Antena 3 announced.
Tudor Breazu, the manager of Elena Udrea’s farm at Nana, was placed under preventive arrest on February 8, by the Bucharest Appeal Court. The decision is not final, and the contestation is to be tried by the High Court.
The Judge of Rights and Freedoms of the Bucharest Appeal Court showed in the motivation of his decision that Tudor Breazu was a concrete danger to society, even if three years have passed since he had committed the deeds DNA was accusing him of.
The magistrate showed in the quoted document that Tudor Breazu, accused of complicity to bribe taking in the Gala Bute file, besides other defendants, has committed the crime in an organized manner, to create a complex financial circui and forged documents to create an appearance of legality, involving several commercial companies and using fictitious transactions.