Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea has showed up at the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (ICCJ) for the last hearing into the 2012 presidential impeachment referendum fraud case that also involved more than 70 persons.
At a previous hearing, Dragnea said he did not know who conceived the short messages that are in the prosecution’s indictment or whether or not they were edited by a creative team of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
Prime Minister Victor Ponta was also heard on March 11 as witness, and he said at the 2012 referendum, PSD used software that other parties also used that allows to check voter turnout, adding that this is legal.
Liviu Dragnea was sent to court by National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors in connection with the misuse of influence or power by a person holding a leading office in a party in order to get ill-gotten gains for self or others.
According to DNA, Dragnea, in his capacity as PSD secretary general, used his influence and authority inside the party in order to get ill-gotten gains of electoral nature for the political alliance of which the party represented by the defendant was a member, namely to secure the turnout quorum in the July 29, 2012 referendum with the aid of votes got under other circumstances than the legal ones.
According to the prosecutors, Dragnea allegedly coordinated a complex mechanism and got more people involved into it over whom he had influence by virtue of the party office he was holding, with the purpose of misrepresenting the turnout.
“As a first step, Liviu Dragnea, in his capacity as secretary general of the party he was representing and also coordinator of the electoral camping, issued two notes – dated July 12 and July 13, 2014 – for the party’s county branches and the campaign chairs and directors, respectively, as well as for the PSD mayors all over the country in which he was urging them to take measures penalised under Law 3/2000 (in fact promises of material gains in order to determine voters to vote in the referendum), while also urging prefects to set up polling stations in tourist resorts, which are not territorial-administrative units in themselves, all for the purpose of securing a 60-per cent turnout,” says DNA.
Dragnea is also accused of having concomitantly coordinated a complex information system through which he delivered to county campaign managers/mayors/ and party activists messages, orders and recommendations related to boosting voter turnout in the referendum using forbidden means.