Head Prosecutor of DNA Laura Codruta Kovesi offered on Tuesday, before the weekly meeting of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) a series of information on Sorin Oprescu’s arrest. She mentioned that the file was started in spring, as part of reports submitted by two physical persons, and that the Mayor of Bucharest was not caught in the act, as circulated in the media.
Laura Codruta Kovesi declared that an amount of the supposed bribe was found in possession of Sorin Oprescu, at the body search performed at the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), another share was found at his home and the rest at a “witness questioned during the same night (Saturday to Sunday, editor’s note).
“The procedure of catching in the act was not applied to suspect Oprescu. According to the Criminal Procedure Code, he was summoned by prosecutors immediately after he committed the crime he is suspected of. An arrest warrant was issued on his name. Based on tactical reasons, he was not arrested at the time of committing the felony, the alleged felony, but immediately after the arrest warrant was issued. As a technical detail, according to the Criminal Procedure Code stipulations, no home searches can be performed after 8 PM. Considering that there are other suspects as well and based on the investigation, he was brought in with an arrest warrant shortly after he allegedly committed the felony”, Kovesi mentioned.
She added that “there are other suspects” in the file as well, but denied any connection by the Mayor’s son, Mircea Oprescu, in this case, as circulated in the media.
“We do not care what happens in politics.”
Asked when the Sorin Oprescu case was documented, Laura Codruta Kovesi replied: “The file was initiated as a result of complaints filed by two physical persons, others than the person who had offered the money to the Mayor on September 5”, a person “that has no quality of denounce maker in the file, but that of a suspect, and was proposed for house arrest, and the request was approved and tried by the Court.”
“All procedural and trial-related activities were checked by the Court”, the Head Prosecutor of DNA outlined, the Court that had decided the preventive arrest of Bucharest’s General Mayor and that appreciated prosecutors had acted according to the stipulations of the law.
Moreover, Kovesi mentioned that “the investigation is ongoing” and therefore, she cannot confirm whether accusations will be extended.
The Head of DNA has denied insinuations launched by the media that Sorin Oprescu gained the attention of DNA as he intended to run once again for Mayor in Bucharest.
“We do not care what happens in politics, the physical persons did not have any quality in a party”, she pointed out, referring to people who have submitted the complaints in March, that determined the opening of the file.
Asked whether the intelligence services provided information to DNA regarding Sorin Oprescu’s activity, Laura Codruta Kovesi declared: “The information coming from the services is classified and I cannot tell you anything.”
Investigation concerning the Prime Minister, almost finished
The Head Prosecutor of DNA answered on Tuesday, at CSM headquarters, a question related to the stage of the investigation in the Turceni-Rovinari file, that also involves the criminal pursuit of Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
“The case prosecutor will decide, I know that it is almost finished, there are a few exhibits to manage. When a solution is issued, we will let you know”, Laura Codruta Kovesi explained.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta expressed his contentment on the announcement made on Tuesday morning by the Head Prosecutor of DNA, that his file is about to be finished and that, soon, the case prosecutor will publicly announce the solution.
“It is the greatest news!”, Victor Ponta declared on Tuesday at PSD Headquarters, explaining that this was the reason why he had personally demanded the disjunction of the case in this file, so that he would be investigated separately than the rest of the accused.
Victor Ponta outlined once more that he wished this case to be finished as soon as possible”, hinting that he was confident the solution would be a favourable one – closing the file, although the case prosecutor also has the option of sending him to Court.
Moreover, Victor Ponta pointed out that it is like an absurd joke, where, instead of having received money, he was forced to pay money, as he has paid the state an excess amount of money he does not demand to be returned, although the DNA mentioned in the file that accused him of forgery in documents, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering that he has caused a prejudice of RON 51,000.
As for the rest of the file, the Prime Minister explained: “The prosecutor did not ask me anything. He asked me about the RON 51,000, he have the expertise, we have everything. The announcement is great for what I wish.”
Victor Ponta mentioned that he did not know what the solution would be in his case. When the prosecutor decides, I will find it out and you will find it out”, he further added.
On the other hand, Victor Ponta declared once again that he would remain Prime Minister as long as he enjoys the support of the coalition; in order words, he does not intend to resign.
Previously, Victor Ponta had declared that he would submit his resignation to President Klaus Iohannis on December 1, 2016, so, after next year’s Parliament elections.