Lawyer Marius Striblea said on Monday that Elena Udrea intended to report to international bodies dealing with the monitoring of justice and human rights, the manner in which the Romanian justice system operates at present. The ex-minister complains about the abuse of preventive arrest and practice of denunciations.
The former minister has made a request to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) for the replacement of her arrest with a less restrictive preventive measure – house arrest or judicial control, in the Gala Bute case.
The request was filed on 3 April and the Court will hear it on Friday, 10 April.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) heard several witnesses in the Gala Bute case on Monday.
‘As of today, Mrs. Udrea intends to bring to the attention of international bodies – both government and non-government organisations – the manner in which Romanian justice system operates at present, the abuse of preventive arrest, the way in which several colleagues choose to make denunciations, something that profoundly vitiates the act of justice in Romania and often leads to results that are not consistent with the actual facts’, Striblea said.
The lawyer added that all human rights and justice monitoring bodies would be notified.
‘The manner in which the justice system operates at present is a situation that cannot be overcome anymore. We are in the situation where preventive arrest is the rule. Today, the preventive arrest only leads to denunciations. Preventive arrest has become an anticipated punishment. There is no legal reason for Mrs. Udrea to be kept under arrest’, Striblea said.
The lawyer also noted that the hearings on Monday ‘definitively denied the assumption that Gheorghe Nastasia brought a bag to the minister’.
‘The rule was that no one could bring anything else than papers, documents into the Ministry. On the other hand, the minister’s secretary never saw Nastasia with any bag in his hand either in general or in October 2011 in particular. Those are elements that we will use to defend our request for the replacement of preventive arrest the ICCJ will hear on Friday’, the lawyer concluded.
Elena Udrea’s advisor Luminita Kohalmi heard by DNA in Gala Bute case
Elena Udrea’s advisor Luminiţa Kohalmi was heard by the prosecutors with the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) in the Gala Bute case on Monday.
In the scope of their investigations into the Gala Bute case, the prosecutors will also hear witnesses proposed by Udrea, but also people concerned in the processing of donations and performance of services to the Bucharest PDL organization.
‘I have been summoned as a witness in a case concerning Mrs. Elena Udrea. During the time she was a minister, I was in charge of mass-media relations. I am not aware of any illegal things Mrs. Udrea did. The prosecutors thought I would bring clarifications on matters brought up and I told them everything I knew’, Kohalmi said after the hearing.
L. Kohalmi noted that she had not been asked about the bag with EUR 900,000 Udrea allegedly received while at the Ministry and said she was not aware of anything of the kind.
‘I was a spokeswoman, I had no access to privileged information. I had a very good and fair working relationship with Mrs. Udrea’, Kohalmi concluded.
Elena Udrea asked again for the replacement of her preventive arrest with a less restrictive measure. Ruxandra Dragomir said after visiting Udrea in custody on Friday that the ex-minister would make some important announcements this week.
‘The next days, probably Monday or Tuesday, Elena Udrea will also take measures that will definitely have an echo’, Dragomir said. She refused to say what the measures would be, but noted that they were not criminal complaints.
On 23 March, the High Court of Cassation and Justice admitted DNA’s request and extended the preventive arrest with 30 days in the case of ex-Minister Elena Udrea, prosecuted in the Gala Bute case.
In the same case, the Court also extended the arrest for the former President of the Romanian Boxing Federation, Rudel Obreja, and for Tudor Breazu, the manager of Elena Udrea’s Nana estate.
In the same case, the Court extended the house arrest for Stefan Lungu (e. Udrea’s former advisor), Gheorghe Nastasia (ex-Secretary General of the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism) and Cornel Rasmerita (Lupeni Mayor).