The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on Saturday decided the 30 day preventive arrest of Bucharest District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie, accused by the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) of abuse of office, bribe taking and money laundering. The decision is not final.
“From 2007 until present, defendant Vanghelie, in exchange for some material benefits, helped a businessman to obtain, for the companies the latter controls, the granting of a number of public work contracts, with a total value of approximately 2 billion lei. For the assignment and payment of the contracts for the public works execution, defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel charged an approximately 20 per cent ‘commission’ of the value of the contracts signed by the Bucharest Sector 5 Hall and the subordinate institutions with the companies controlled by the businessman in question,” the DNA maintains quoted by Agerpres.
The “commission” in question was paid by businessman Dumitru Marin to Vanghelie, through Mircea-Sorin Niculae (Mayor Vanghelie’s cousin), and to another person in their circle, the prosecutors also say.
The “commission” was paid, in some cases, in the form of some contracts signed by a company controlled by Marin Dumitru, through some off-shore companies, and companies controlled by the Sector 5 mayor, through intermediaries.
The investigators found that part of the “commission” was paid by ceding two new constructions in favour of some persons close to the Mayor.
The DNA points out that as guarantee for the 20 per cent commission payment, a businessman ceded the control over one of his companies to close acquaintances of Vanghelie.
The cited source also underscores that Marian Vanghelie purchased, together with his cousin Mircea Sorin Niculae, a series of movable and immovable assets from 2007 until present, using money coming from bribes. The assets were then introduced in the patrimony of the companies controlled by the two, with the purpose of hiding their illegal origin.
Transcripts: Vanghelie bragged about being able to put pressure on President Iohannis through TV producer
Bucharest Sector 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie’s telephone conversations were intercepted by the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors, while he was telling a close person that he could intervene with President Klaus Iohannis, through TV producer Rares Bogdan, in order to help him with the criminal case, maintaining that the President needed him to make the majority in the Senate.
According to some judicial sources, the information comes up in the report through which the DNA prosecutors have asked the judges with the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) the preventive arrest of Marian Vanghelie.
“(…) the defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel understood, in his attempt to determine a person to make statements in his favour, to persuade this person of the fact that he has the capacity, through journalist Rares Bogdan, to put pressure on the country’s President, pressure, which, in the defendant’s opinion, could influence the investigations in the current case,” the report shows.
In this respect, there is an interception in the case in which Vanghelie invokes the name of President Klaus Iohannis and Rares Bogdan, within a telephone conversation with Mariana Carla Dinu.
The report also mentions that Marian Vanghelie granted a great number of contracts funded with public money to the companies controlled by businessman Dumitru Marin, in exchange for two new constructions in favour of a close acquaintance of Vanghelie, namely Mariana Carla Dinu.
Rares Bogdan: I will take to court prosecutor who mentioned my name in Vanghelie’s report
TV producer Rares Bogdan on Friday evening said that he would take to court the prosecutor working on the case involving Marian Vanghelie for having mentioned his name in the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) report presented to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ).
“We are witnessing a new abuse, the terrible abuse of prosecutors. It wouldn’t be the first. The abuse of Vanghelie’s case prosecutor, who is trying to create an additional pressure on the High Court by introducing my name and that of Romania’s President in this equation. I have no connection whatsoever with this equation, Romania’s President has no connection with this. (…) I don’t know what Vanghelie said or didn’t say, it is not my business. But to introduce me in such equation saying, speculating that I could be I don’t know what and including the recording in the report through which Marian Vanghelie is taken to court (…) seems to me a terrible abuse. (…) I will take the case prosecutor to court and I am demanding now (…) to be invited to the DNA to see this individual face to face. I want to sit face to face with the individual who involved me in this case,” Rares Bogdan said in a telephone intervention on Antena 3 private television broadcaster.
On the other hand, the TV producer said he didn’t know Klaus Iohannis “that well” and that he wasn’t in charge with making up parliamentary majorities.
DNA explains why Iohannis and Rares Bogdan are mentioned in Vanghelie’s arrest report
DNA prosecutors explained why the names of President Klaus Iohannis and of TV host Rares Bogdan appeared in the arrest report of Mayor Marian Vanghelie, submitted by the Anti-Corruption prosecutors to the High Court. Marian Vanghelie was preventively arrested for 30 days, based on bribe-taking charges for favouring the companies owned by businessman Marin Dumitru in attributing public assignments for the Mayoralty of District 5.
The National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) mentioned that the names of Klaus Iohannis and Rares Bogdan appeared in Marian Vanghelie’s arrest report “out of legal dispositions”.
“During legal pursuit, the investigating institution collects and manages any factual element that serves at establishing the existence or absence of a criminal offence, at identifying the person who committed it and at discovering the required circumstances for a fair solutioning of the file and finding out the truth in the criminal lawsuit, according to article no. 97 in the Criminal Procedure Code”, DNA prosecutors mentioned in a press release.
“According to legal dispositions, the prosecutor must mention and justify in the report for a preventive measure proposal the case mentioned by the law that imposes the preventive arrest of the defendant. The attempt to determine a person to give false statements to legal institutions, promising to intervene in order to close the file and mentioning the persons he intended to contact for said intervention, so that the promises would seem more credible, represent a case for arrest, according to article no. 223, paragraph 1, letter b in the Criminal Procedure Code. Under these circumstances, the presentation in the content of the report of certain statements made by the defendant, including essential elements for solutioning the arrest proposal, is imposed by aforementioned legal dispositions”, the press release further shows”.
Vanghelie launches broadside against Romania TV: Rares Bogdan executed for attacking Ponta-Ghita duo
Marian Vanghelie answered some of the public accusations that have appeared in recent hours. His communication team (based on Elena Udrea’s public relations example) posted a message on the personal page of the District 5 Mayor, trying to explain the transcripts leaked from the file on the basis of which the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) requested an arrest warrant on his name. In a fairly long message, Marian Vanghelie launches a broadside against Romania TV and defends journalist Rares Bogdan who is allegedly the victim of public lynching for having the courage to publicly confront the Victor Ponta – Sebastian Ghita duo.
“First of all, I want to inform all of you of a very important thing that, unfortunately, received scant media coverage for obvious reasons. PSR, our new political project, took shape on March 11 and from now on the left wing has a new chance, a real chance! I invite those that feel themselves left-wingers to join the Romanian Social Party!
Concerning the libels against me, which appeared on the Romania TV television channel that belongs to a person that fears for his own crimes and tax evasion, a person called Sebastian Ghita, I point out the following:
1) I have never offered money or other benefits as bribe, either directly or through middlemen, to a journalist or any other media person, least of all to Rares Bogdan, a journalist I consider a true professional and who is also a friend. I would not have endangered the relationship of friendship and respect I have with him, in this way. The discrediting of this man, both as a journalist and as a citizen, coming from the Romania TV lying television channel, stems from the fact that he was among the few journalists that chose to reveal the truth about Ponta and his mafia relations with Ghita, and to believe in the new idea of restarting Romania by electing Mr. Klaus Iohannis as President of Romania. Through these despicable and lying statements, Romania TV is trying to cover up the crimes of its owner Sebastian Ghita. Once again, I emphasize that I never gave Rares Bogdan any sum of money. It’s a lie and a miserable concoction from Sebastian Ghita’s television channel.
2) Also in order to discredit this journalist and, taking it further, to discredit the President of Romania himself, Romania TV broadcast another piece of truncated information, presented falsely (disparate fragments from a transcript), by presenting a discussion between me and a lady I know, and namely that Rares Bogdan would have intervened at the President in what concerns the situation of this lady, who had told me that DNA had made abuses against her. I have known this lady for over 20 years as an honest woman and I assured her of all my support, namely of trying to send her memo about these abuses to the Romanian President, through one of his advisors. Unrelated to this, I told her I will ask Rares Bogdan, as a professional journalist of great notoriety, but also as my friend, to help the woman by giving media coverage to her case.
3) Romania TV also broadcast that I am a shareholder of Hotel Bulevard in Predeal and Premier Palace Hotel in Bucharest. I point out I do not own any shares, either directly or through middlemen, in these hotels or in any other hotel.
4) I do not know anything about and I have nothing to do with certain contracts signed by Marin Dumitru, the owner of Premier Palace Hotel and the person who denounced me, with B1TV, OTV, Antena 3 and other television channels.
The communication team.”
Rares Bogdan: I will sue Romania TV and donate damages
Rares Bogdan rejected all accusations launched by Romania TV, accusations according to which he allegedly took money from Marian Vanghelie. Rares Bogdan pointed out that the statements are based on false documents and added he will sue the television channel and will donate the damages to a foundation for young journalists.
Realitatea TV talk-show anchor Rares Bogdan underscored that in the last 24 hours he was the target of false accusations launched by Romania TV, a television channel that staged a veritable lynching against him.
“I am one of the people that have confidence that the DNA will clean Romania of the corrupt and will not fling mud at people,” Rares Bogdan stated, commenting the accusations launched by Romania TV.
“Last evening Mr. Sebastian Ghita thought to concoct a new Breaking News from the pub, because Rares Bogdan had come out far too well from the first part of the Breaking News. I was not allowed to state my opinions and comments,” the journalist explained, referring to the fact that Romania TV accused him of having received EUR 350,000 from Marian Vanghelie.
“I haven’t seen that amount of money in my life. I couldn’t believe I could be witnessing such dirty manipulation in 2015. I will file a request and I am curious how the CNA (National Audiovisual Council – editor’s note) will react. Because it was a lynching based on false documents, on documents that do not exist in the Vanghelie case,” Rares Bogdan stated.
The journalist states that the sum of EUR 350,000 is very large. “Mr. Ghita could have used the sum of EUR 35,000. (…) Also that recording states that I was dead broke. I don’t believe I look like a dead broke person. I repeat, I am not poor. Here he shot himself in the foot,” Bogdan said.
The journalist criticized Sebastian Ghita harshly. “He is a criminal, a man that alongside his buddy Victor Ponta is trying to exact revenge against critics. I am sure the DNA, the prosecutors’ offices will do their duty in what concerns this criminal duo,” Rares Bogdan added.
“I will sue Romania TV and its producers and will demand EUR 350,000 in damages for defamation, and will donate the money to a foundation that supports young journalists in Romania,” the journalist added.
DNA: Mircea Geoana’s 2009 campaign HQ, renovated with Vanghelie’s bribe money
DNA prosecutors claim that Mircea Geoana’s 2009 presidential campaign headquarters as well as PSD’s District 5 headquarters were renovated with the money that Marian Vanghelie had received as bribe.
The document through which DNA requests a preventive arrest warrant for Marian Vanghelie shows that a part of the “commission” that the mayor received from businessman Dumitru Marin also consisted of the payment of renovation works at Mircea Geoana’s campaign headquarters.
“Other, secondary means through which Dumitru Marin paid off the “commission” requested by Vanghelie Marian-Daniel were: paying for or providing renovation works on commercial spaces used by the company controlled by Fashion Brand Management SRL (whose associate was defendant Niculae Mircea-Sorin, but was in fact administered by suspect Niculescu-Mizil-Stefanescu Oana, MP); paying for or providing renovation works on other spaces, including the campaign headquarters of PSD’s presidential candidate in 2009, the headquarters of PSD Cotroceni (a building located on Obedenaru Street, owned by CALEX BUSINESS GRUP SRL), the headquarters of PSD Bucharest District 5, offices of the District 5 Mayoralty; collecting signatures needed to register a candidate in the European Parliament Elections in 2014; covering the expenses incurred by defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel in certain restaurants; sponsoring events organized by the District 5 Mayoralty (such as New Year’s Eve parties),” the prosecutors point out in the document, Agerpres informs.