The Legal Affairs Committee of the Senate on Tuesday addressed the case of the former Finance Minister, Darius Valcov, and issued a positive opinion on DNA’s detention request.
In the meantime, Darius Valcov reported to DNA to give new depositions in his influence peddling case the same day. The former official allegedly acted to help a certain businessman be awarded public contracts in his post as mayor of Slatina.
The final vote will be given by the Senate who is supposed to decide in the next two weeks if Darius Valcov may or may not be arrested pending trial.
The ex-finance minister is currently under house arrest.However, if his colleagues in the Senate vote to approve the arrest, he might be incarcerated.
The Senate approved last Wednesday the anti-corruption prosecutors’ request to arrest him, but the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) placed him on house arrest instead.
DNA’s second request for the arrest of Darius Valcov was received by the Senate Secretariat last Tuesday and forwarded to the Standing Bureau.
Under the Senate Regulation, in the case of a request for the detention and preventive arrest of a senator, the Legal Committee has maximum three days to issue the report and send it to the plenary meeting for the final vote, which means that there is a good chance that we may have a verdict in the Valcov case in the Senate this week.
However, a decision in that respect will most likely be made next week, as the parliamentary procedure requires a deadline of five days of the finalization of the Legal Committee report for the vote in plenary session in the Senate. Last Tuesday, DNA requested the Senate’s consent to the arrest of Darius Valcov, suspected of having used various information sourced during his terms as a mayor, senator and minister for supporting companies controlled by him via other persons. Darius Valcov allegedly received, among other things, three gold bars with a total weight of 3 kilos, a gold tone frame painting signed Renoir, a painting signed Jean Coteau and a painting on wood signed Aurel Acasandrei, all stored in a safebox, together with USD 90,000 and RON 1.3 M cash.
The leadership of the Senate on Monday forwarded to the Legal Committee a second request received from the prosecutors for the continuation of criminal investigations, detention and arrest of Senator Darius Valcov. The Legal Committee will make a recommendation to the plenary of the Senate.
‘We have received a letter from Mr. Robert Cazanciuc through which he forwards a request of the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice for the approval of the continuation of criminal investigations, detention and arrest of Senator Darius Valcov.
‘The request ahs been forwarded to the Legal Committee and the proposal was made that, as long as if we have the report on time, we take a vote at the beginning of the day on Wednesday, in order for the entire cycle of the debate to be completed (…). It will be a secret voting, using balls’, said he PSD Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Cristian Dumitrescu, after the meeting of the Standing Bureau of the Senate on Monday.
As for the law section based on which the Senate will vote in the matter of the detention and arrest of Senator Darius Valcov, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu noted that the Legal Committee would make a recommendation to the plenary session. ‘The request of the minister of justice will be referred to the Legal Committee and, as the Legal Committee made a recommendation the previous time, we are pending the Committee recommendation this time, too’, Tariceanu said.
Hiding collection of paintings by famous artists
In the meantime, DNA has discovered that Darius Valcov was hiding 101 paintings signed by famous painters, which he intended to use for opening an art gallery. According to Agerpres, the senator allegedly paid RON 1 M to a person in 2013 to buy the paintings for him.
The DNA prosecutors have also reportedly discovered 29 paintings in the building where Valcov was going to open his art gallery, in the Dorobanti area of Bucharest. Among those there were works by Pablo Picasso, Victor Brauner, Andy Warhol, Stefan Luchian, Nicolae Vermont, Nicolae Darascu, Mircea Mihail Ciobanu, Rudolf Negely, Iosif Iser and Nicolae Tonitza.
‘During the searches, the investigators identified a total of 101 paintings signed by famous painters such as Pablo Picasso (two engravings and a charcoal drawing), Andy Warhol, Nicolae Tonitza, Stefan Luchian, Gheorghe Petrascu, Constantin Piliuta, Corneliu Baba, Horia Bernea, Octav Bancila etc’, states the DNA release.
The works of art seemingly purchased with ‘black’ funds will now be tested by experts and certified, and given into the custody of a specialized institution which may also decide to exhibit them to the general public.
‘There is information suggesting that most of these paintings were bought from well-known auction houses. The procedure of identification and expert certification of the works has been initiated, engaging a team of museographic experts and other specialists in the field of figurative arts. After that, the paintings will be placed into the custody of a specialized institution which may decide to exhibit the pieces before the criminal proceedings are concluded and their legal status is determined’, the DNA release further notes.