Ex-Regional Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea appeared before the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on Monday, where she asked that the Gala Bute case should be sent back to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for the indictment to be redone. Udrea’s lawyers also asked for house arrest to be replaced with an easier measure.
‘The case should not be called Gala Bute, but Elena Udrea, because absolutely all charges are against me’, the PMP MP said when she left the Court, according to ziare.com.
Elena Udrea says the charges are groundless as DNA omits the depositions of persons who insist that she is not guilty and separates parts of the case she deems incorrect.
Udrea said the giving of bribe in the case of ‘the famous bag of 900,000 euro’ was separated from the Gala Bute case for further investigators. At the same time, the case regarding Udrea was sent to Court also including the charge of taking bribe, whilst the giving of the bribe is still under investigation.
On the charge of abuse of power by introducing the Ministry of Tourism to the organisation of the Gala Bute event, Udrea notes that none of the employees was accused of anything. ‘On the other hand, I was charged, although I did not have all the competence’.
‘The Prosecutor’s Office separates the investigation of the employees, on the other hand I am sent to Court’, the PMP MP noted.
Elena Udrea also spoke of the Criminal Code changes, saying she was for limiting the preventive arrest to exceptional cases, ‘not just for show’.
‘The fact that they arrest people far too easily is something I said and I stand by knowing what I am talking about. I do not mean just politicians whose arrests satisfy the public opinion, I also man regular people who end up under arrest far too easily, because the way it is today, the procedure cannot be corrected. One can be arrested for six months because the Court doesn’t check the case on its merits. Think about this – when I was in the Targsor prison, I was not handcuffed. On the other hand, when I was under preventive arrest, I was handcuffed when I was brought to Court. Why was it Ok for me not to be handcuffed when I was in orison – I didn’t try to escape, I didn’t fight with the guards either. You can’t just handcuff anyone for the sake of the show, this should be limited’, explained the ex-minister.
Udrea also said that she most missed the freedom of movement, although she cannot say she doesn’t appreciate the fact that she was no longer under arrest, but at her home.
The former minister’s lawyers have repeatedly asked the Court to replace her house arrest with an easier measure, but without success.
In this case, the PMP MP was referred to Court on 21 April for bribery, abuse of power and attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or declarations for unjustly obtaining European funds.
After almost two and a half months of preventive arrest, on 7 May Udrea was released from the Targsor Prison and placed on house arrest.