MP Sebastian Ghita was summoned by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Ploiesti Wednesday morning to be informed that charged against him had been expanded to include new corruption offences allegedly committed as a member of Parliament, as well as before his term and banned him from leaving his home city, Ploiesti. The extraordinary measure taken in the case of the MP means that he may no longer work in Parliament, since he is not allowed to travel to Bucharest.
When he arrived to DNA, Sebastian Ghita said that, in his opinion, the criminal investigation bodies were trying to remove from the game certain members of Parliament and that they had waited for Victor Ponta to be defeated in the presidential election in order to produce various cases against him and persons close to him.
‘There s a debate if there is a plan, an idea to remove us, the members of the Chamber of Deputies, from the game (…). I’m thinking it would be good that bad things should not happen, but one never knows. In November we had the election and, as we can see, (charged -0 editor’s note) have appeared against the premier, members of his family, myself and various acquaintances’, Ghita said. Asked if he feared he might be suspended as an MP, he answered: ‘I’m very much afraid that something like that could happen if the Chamber we belong to agrees to it’.
The MP was asked to explain what he meant by the DNA plan to remove from the game Social-Democratic Mps.
‘I don’t exactly understand what is going on in Romania now. It’s a bit suspicious that, after many years, as soon as a political zone loses election, cases appear against it’, Ghita noted and told the journalists he had to walk into the building of DN Ploiesti as he had an appointment at a certain time and could not be late because of them.
‘I am banned from speaking to Mr. Victor Ponta’
MP Sebastian Ghita said, when he left DNA Ploiesti, where he had been for approximately two hours, that a new measure had been taken against him – he was banned from leaving Ploiesti. He said the decision had been probably made in order to humiliate him and that the abuse against citizens may not be tolerated.
‘A new measure has been taken without being informed what I had done, probably in order to humiliate me, not to leave Ploiesti. I have not violated the previous measure that did not allow me to leave the country. This time, prosecutor Onea deems I should not be able to leave Ploiesti. I asked for explanations and he said that was his view, that he was the prosecutor and I was a citizen (…)’, Ghita said.
“It is a political case that seeks to unseat the Government”
The MP also said that some of his case was about the November 2014 presidential election and that he was not supposed to contact PM Victor Ponta. He claims it’s a political case that seeks ‘to unseat this Government’.
‘A part of the case is about the presidential election. I am not going to apologise and I am not sorry that the Social-Democratic Party, Victor Ponta, I, many other people tried to obtain the trust of the electorate for the office as president of Romania. We were defeated in this presidential election and we must stop this rule that, after losing an election, you have to be humiliated, destroyed, called before prosecutors, families are threatened, companies belonging to the, members of their families and friends are seized, mothers are searched and so on. It’s a terrible thing and I think we should fight against it, all of us. I will definitely do it. I am banned from contacting Mr. Victor Ponta’, Sebastian Ghita said.
He also said that ‘he was unable to influence the prime-minister to resign when the prosecutors want him to’.
‘Talks, meetings, threats, admonishments that were all for the resignation of Prime-Minister Victor Ponta. I cannot influence the prime-minister to resign when the prosecutors want him to. I do not have this power over the prime-minister of Romania even if they may believe otherwise. I am not going to go into details because there are several things that I need to tell you’, Ghita added.
The MP also said that the criminal case was a political one, that seeks ‘to unseat the Government’.
Ghita attacks Iohannis
MP Sebastian Ghita has made a series of unprecedented accusations after DNA had expanded criminal investigations in his case and prevented him from exercising his mandate as a member of Parliament, leave Ploiesti or contact Victor Ponta. Ghita is challenging Victor Ponta and Basescu to come public and say what is truly going on in Romania.
Ghita says a palace coup is in progress in Romania, that the representatives of the current power, starting with PM Victor Ponta, are being chased by an Iohannis-DNA-SRI brotherhood. He accuses huge pressures being put on Ponta o make him resign and even a blackmail against Traian Basescu. According to the MP, Basescu ‘is being terrorised not to say these things’.
‘The fact that I know what is going on does not let me keep silent. I would have done it before, not after the charges of the prosecutors, but I just didn’t want to be the star. I was expecting Traian Basescu or Victor Ponta to say what was happening in Romania. I am in no position and neither do I believe I enjoy enough trust among people as the ex-president of Romania or the prime-minister in office. I hope they do it and I think they will do it. If not, I will have to come up with the evidence that I have’, Sebastian Ghita said.
Sebastian Ghita is also interpreting the latest developments as a return of those who robbed Romania before USL took over the power, who, according to him, are supported by Iohannis.
‘At ANAF, Blejnar was robbing hundreds of millions of euro. Mr. Stelian Gheorghe was carrying bags of one million euro all over Bucharest. I have fought against this system. Unfortunately, as you cans see, one by one, all those who had managed to fight back the 10 years of robbery and theft in Romania are being pushed to the side. Crin Antonescu is no longer in the game. Victor Ponta has been operated on in Turkey, USL no longer exists, many of us who turned the front then and opposed restitutions of property, ANAF theft, VAT theft…. I have not seen those people pay for what they did. I see we are paying, who there years ago managed to overturn the Ungureanu Government. This is it, these are Mr. Iohannis’ choices, Romanians voted, he takes responsibility’, Ghita also said.
Sebastian Ghita also said he had been prevented from exercising his term as a member of Parliament and that all those measures were abusive and violate the rights of the citizen.
According to the DNA release, Sebastian Ghita is not allowed to work as a deputy in the Parliament of Romania, in the exercise of which office he committed the offence. He is also not allowed to leave Ploiesti without the prior consent of the relevant prosecutor. These two measures add to the previous ones – he must report to DNA Ploiesti whenever he is invited, inform DNA immediately on a change of his residence, report to the Prahova County Police – the Judicial Monitoring Office, according to the supervision time-table prepared by the Police body or whenever invited, must not come close to the people mentioned in the prosecutors’ order or communicate with them either directly or indirectly, in any way, not own, use or carry guns.
Sebastian Ghita is accused of influence peddling, complicity in changing the destination of European funds, money laundering, tax evasion, corruption of voters and performance of financial operations as acts of trade incompatible with the office. These charges are added to the previous ones of aiding and abetting an organising criminal group.
Some of his assets have been already frozen in the case where he is under investigation alongside Iulian Hertanu, PM Victor Ponta’s brother-in-law, the head of Prahova County Council, Mircea Cosma and his son, MP Vlad Cosma. Sebastian Ghita is investigated on probation in this case. Iulian Hertanu is accused of belonging to a criminal group that defrauded EU funds for sewerage works in the Comarnic town and the three politicians are suspected of supporting the whole scheme.
According to the investigators, Virgiliu Roman, Sebastian Ghita, Vlad and Mircea Cosma supported the criminal group also including Iulian Hertanu in applying for and obtaining European funds for the contracts regarding the expansion of the sewerage infrastructure in the town of Comarnic, the worth of the project being almost EUR 10 M.
Ghita asks Lower Chamber to notify CCR of existence of conflict between state branches
Lower Chamber MP Sebastian Ghita has sent a letter to the leadership of the Lower Chamber, informing Parliament about the DNA decision that no longer allows him to carry out his activity as MP. Likewise, Sebastian Ghita is asking the Lower Chamber’s leadership “to declare a conflict between state branches, one that should be settled by the Constitutional Court.”
“I want to inform you of a very serious situation that has appeared today in my relations with the National Anticorruption Directorate’s Ploiesti Territorial Branch. Following investigations carried out in a criminal case, among other measures on modifying the conditional bail, the prosecutor handling the case has also ordered the following measure: “he should not carry out his activity as Romanian MP, having committed the crime in this capacity.” I find the decision extremely serious, unconstitutional and with potential repercussions for democracy in Romania. I consider that Romania’s Parliament and the Judicial Commission have to urgently react in order to limit such an abuse. I am willing to file any relevant documents to the Permanent Bureau and to the Judicial Commission. At the same time, I am asking for a conflict between state branches to be declared, one that should be settled by the Constitutional Court,” reads the letter sent by MP Sebastian Ghita to Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea.
A Constitutional Court (CCR) ruling clearly stipulates that MPs cannot be prevented from exercising their mandate.