JUSTICE POLITICS

Basescu on files against him: I am not bothered by them. I know I never violated any law

Former President Traian Basescu declared on Wednesday that the files he was charged on do not affect his plans because he knows he had not violated any law.
“I am not bothered by them, because I know I never violated any law”, Traian Basescu declared when asked whether the files he is charged in affected his political plans.

Traian Basescu appeared on Wednesday at District 5 Court, where the reopening of the file referring to the kidnapping of the three Romanian journalists is being examined.
These days, the former President is scheduled to announce that he has joined PMP.
Last week, Basescu had mentioned that he would make the announcement until October 10, mentioning that he wanted to create “a new party, that would not be involved in the compromises of the transition period”, and that he did not necessarily want to be the “main executive authority” of this party.
On the other hand, he did not rule out the possibility of running for the Mayoralty of Bucharest again. “I will not confirm, nor infirm. (…) We are just building the party, we will see later”, Basescu declared last week.
So far, the former Head of the State is involved in three criminal files: the file of kidnapped Romanian journalists, the Mihaileanu House file and the blackmail file initiated after the complaint filed by PSD Senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea. Basescu had requested mediation in the latter.


Traian Basescu in court in case concerning journalists kidnapped in Iraq: “The opening of the case is a slap in the face of Romania. I told the magistrates I haven’t classified a single page of the dossier”

Former President Traian Basescu arrived on Wednesday morning at Bucharest’s District 5 Court where Corneliu Vadim Tudor’s complaint against him in the case concerning the journalists kidnapped in Iraq was sent back to be tried.
Judges heard the former president before deciding whether to approve the reopening of the criminal investigation requested by the General Prosecutor’s office in the case concerning the Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq. Two months ago the Supreme Court considered that it is the lower court’s job to decide whether the investigations will be reopened.
Traian Basescu arrived at the District 5 Court around 8.30 a.m., stating that he is not nervous and he wants the reopening of the case in order for it to be clarified.
“I have the quality of respondent, namely that of a person on whose name a complaint has been filed. We will see what the Prosecutor’s Office will do from now on. From my point of view, the solution of opening this case is a slap in the face of Romania. When you state publicly that a head of state and an American general may have stolen money and Romanian authorities make a show out of this, it isn’t good for Romania. If need be, everything can be declassified,” Traian Basescu said.
The former president left the court less than an hour afterward, stating he told the magistrates that he did not classify a single page of the dossier and that the operational dossier was not in his possession, his role being to coordinate state institutions.
“I stated that I haven’t classified a single page of the dossier in the journalists’ kidnapping case. The operative side was not my business. My role was to bring all intelligence services together, the Army’s, SRI and SIE, in order to collect the information and to make sure they work in sync. I wasn’t the one who held the operational dossier. SIE was at the top of the page,” the former president stated.
Asked whether it would be to his advantage for the dossier to be declassified, Basescu said that it would prove that the complaint against him is “nonsense.”
“Categorically yes, it would confirm that Vadim Tudor’s complaint is nonsense,” Traian Basescu added.


“We move on, I’m a fairly harassed former president”

Traian Basescu then started criticizing the General Prosecutor’s Office. He pointed out that “it is not necessarily a slap in the face of the judiciary, it’s a slap in the face of the Prosecutor’s Office, which can give credence to a complaint filed in November 2009 during the elections campaign.”
“I notice that for the General Prosecutor’s Office the Revolution, the people killed in the Revolution, the June 13-15 Miners’ Riots have no relevance, but the complaints filed by politicians against former president Traian Basescu have. But this is life!” the former president added.
Asked whether his legal problems get in the way of his political plans, Traian Basescu answered smilingly: “We move on, I’m a fairly harassed former president.”
The case came back to the District 5 Court following a decision taken on August 6 by the High Court, which established that the District 5 Court is competent to handle the case since Traian Basescu currently no longer holds an official position.
Traian Basescu and PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga were subpoenaed by the High Court on August 6 in the case in which Corneliu Vadim Tudor filed a complaint against them in the case concerning the Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq. Basescu and Blaga spent only a few minutes in court, since the hearings no longer took place after the prosecutor handling the case invoked the court’s lack of competence and asked for the case to be sent back to the District 5 Court.
The prosecutor pointed out that in what concerns Vasile Blaga the investigation was closed in 2010 with the decision not to start a criminal prosecution against him.
In what concerns Traian Basescu however, no decision had been taken because he enjoyed immunity on account of him being Romania’s President.
High Court prosecutors ruled the reopening of the criminal investigation in the case concerning the three Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq in 2005, as a result of a complaint filed by Corneliu Vadim Tudor. The latter accused former president Traian Basescu and PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga of being guilty for the disappearance of USD 4 M from the ransom money that Romania paid in exchange for the release of the three journalists.
In order to be able to continue their criminal investigations into this case, High Court prosecutors asked the District 5 Court to confirm the reopening of the criminal prosecution. After analyzing the case, District 5 Court judges decided they lacked the competence to try the case and sent it to the Supreme Court magistrates.
Journalists Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Miscoci and Ovidiu Ohanesian were kidnapped in Baghdad in March 2005.

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