POLITICS

Supreme Court rejects DNA’s demand for new preventive arrest warrant for ex-Minister Darius Valcov

High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) judges have rejected on Tuesday the new demand of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors for a new preventive arrest warrant for Darius Valcov, following the Senate’s approval. Decision is not final.The former minister is accused of using the information he had access to as mayor, Senator and minister in order to support companies which he controlled through intermediaries. Thus, the DNA has proposed 30-day preventive arrest for engaging in financial operations incompatible with the office held and for engaging in financial transactions while using information obtained on the basis of the office held. The prosecutors proposed the measure after the Senate approved on April 1 their requests to expand the prosecution, detention and preventive arrest for new counts brought against Darius Valcov.

On Tuesday ex-Minister Darius Valcov was brought in for questioning in handcuffs from the arrest of the Bucharest Police, to give new explanations in the case where he was charged with corruption. On this occasion, the prosecutors asked for the replacement of his current arrest warrant with one that should cover all charges against the former minister of finance.

Charged with influence peddling, the former Slatina mayor between 2004 and 2012 and ex-Minister of Finance until last month, D. Valcov was arrested at the end of last week for 23 days, after the High Court judges admitted the contestations of anti-corruption prosecutors regarding the initially approved house arrest measure.

‘Adevarul’ daily quotes judicial sources as saying that Valcov allegedly tried to sign an admission agreement with DNA, but his lawyer’s advice was declined by the investigators.

Darius Valcov is suspected of having used information obtained as the Mayor of Slatina and also afterwards, when he became a senator (December 2012) and even a minister, for supporting three Slatina-based companies – a cadastre company, an accounting company and a law firm. The prosecutors claim that the companies were in reality owned by Valcov himself, but steered via other persons.

During the investigations, DNA discovered a true ‘museum’ they believe belongs to Valcov, at several Bucharest, Slatina and Brastavatu (Olt County) addresses of Valcov’s friends. They discovered a total of 125 paintings in which Valcov invested approximately EUR 1 M and which do not appear in his financial disclosures. The works of art seized from the senator were taken to the National Art Museum of Romania where they will be appraised by an independent specialist.

 

 

 

 

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