The Supreme Court decided on Thursday to place former Finance Minister Darius Valcov and Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare under preventive arrest.
The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) has thus admitted the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors’ appeal against the March 26 decision that allowed Valcov to be investigated while under house arrest in the case in which he is accused of influence peddling.
The judges decided that Valcov should be placed under preventive arrest for 23 days, from April 2 to April 24.
The Supreme Court analyzed on Wednesday the DNA request to place former Finance Minister Darius Valcov under preventive arrest, and the judges announced their decision on Thursday. The decision is final.
When arriving at the DNA headquarters on Thursday, Darius Valcov stated that he went there for new statements in the case in which he is investigated. The former Finance Minister was placed under house arrest on March 26, after the High Court of Justice rejected the DNA prosecutors’ request to place him under preventive arrest.
Prior to that, Darius Valcov spent 24 hours under arrest, after he was detained by DNA prosecutors following the Senate’s approval of their request on March 25.
On Wednesday the Senate’s plenum approved the second DNA request to approve the detention and preventive arrest of Darius Valcov, with 106 votes in favour and 29 against.
On March 31 judicial sources stated that Darius Valcov requested at the DNA the signing of an admission of guilt agreement, however the prosecutor handling the case refused.
Former Finance Minister Darius Valcov stated in court that he agrees to be subjected to a lie detector test, being of the opinion that the case in which he is accused of influence peddling has no relevant evidence against him. The information was included in the explanation of the decision taken on March 26, a decision through which the High Court rejected the DNA request to place Darius Valcov under preventive arrest.
According to the DNA, in 2009 a company manager contacted Valcov, who was back then mayor of Slatina, with the promise that in exchange for helping the company in question win some construction work tenders in Slatina, Scornicesti, Piatra Olt and Draganesti, he will pay him 20 percent (VAT not included) of the money the company was going to win from the respective contracts. Prosecutors say that Darius Valcov allegedly received EUR 2 M, both directly and through intermediaries.
Darius Valcov was mayor of Slatina for two terms, from 2004 to 2012, Budget Minister from August to December 2014, and Finance Minister from the end of last year until March 20 this year.
Constanta Mayor accused of passive bribery
Radu Mazare was arrested on Thursday in the case in which he is accused of passive bribery. High Court of Justice judges admitted the prosecutors’ appeal against the decision to investigate the Constanta Mayor while at large. Thus, magistrates issued on Thursday a 30-day preventive arrest warrant for Radu Mazare and businessman Sorin Strutinsky. Radu Mazare has been taken into the custody of the Bucharest Police. Strutinsky is already under arrest after a warrant had been issued for him in another case. On March 18 the High Court decided that the Mayor of Constanta should be investigated while at large in the case in which he is accused of taking a bribe of EUR 9 M, with the help of businessman Sorin Strutinsky, from the companies he supported in their bids to obtain licenses and win tenders. On the same day, judges also rejected the proposal to place Strutinsky under preventive arrest.
The decision was attacked at the Supreme Court, the latter issuing a final decision on Thursday. The Constanta Mayor was detained for 24 hours on March 16, DNA prosecutors accusing him of three counts of bribery, malfeasance in office and two counts of conflict of interests.
Mayor Radu Mazare is investigated by the DNA in several cases.
Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare stated on Wednesday at the High Court of Justice, where the DNA’s appeal was being analyzed, that he rejects the prosecutors’ charges.