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January 28, 2023

Judicial Inspection takes ex-officio action over Bucharest Sector 4 ex-mayor and staff release decision

The Judicial Inspection took ex-officio action in the case of the release from pre-trial arrest of Bucharest Sector 4 ex-mayor Cristian Popescu-Piedone and the two mayor’s office staff members who are all indicted in the Colectiv nightclub fire of October 30.

The Judicial Inspection checks will target the activity of judge Constantin Luchian Constantinescu of the Bucharest Court of Appeal and of the session prosecutor.

The Judicial Inspection’s move follows media information on a disciplinary offence having possibly occurred in the way the Bucharest Court of Appeal has handled on Wednesday the case of the pre-trial measures handed down in the Colectiv club fire case.

The file was registered separately at the Judicial Inspection Department for Judges and the Judicial Inspection Department for Prosecutors.

“Preliminary checks will be conducted according to the provisions of Art. 45 Para. 2, 3 and 4 letter (b) of Law No. 317/2004 on the Superior Council of the Magistrates, republished, and of Art. 12 – 19 of the Regulation on the Judicial Inspection’s performing inspection tasks. The stage of preliminary checks precedes that of disciplinary investigation, as according to Art. 45 Para. (3) and (4) of Law No. 317/2004 on the Superior Council of Magistrates, republished, the Judiciary Inspection is competent for establishing whether there are clues that the magistrates are guilty of disciplinary offence and adequately pronounce, according to the case and the outcome of the checks,” reads a release of the Judicial Inspection sent on Thursday to AGERPRES.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday that former Sector 4 mayor Cristian Popescu-Piedone and two mayor’s office clerks – Aurelia Iofciu, head of the Commercial Authorization Department, and Luminita Larisa Ganea, a clerk with the same department – be released from custody; the ruling is final.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal admitted the appeal filed by the three to the November 7 arrest ruling of the Bucharest Tribunal, and dismissed as unfounded the proposal of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to place the three under pre-trial arrest.

According to DNA, in his capacity as public mayor of Bucharest Sector 4, Cristian Popescu Piedone has defectively fulfilled his responsibilities, breaking the legal provisions on fire security, by issuing approval No. 3909/14.01.2015 and business license No. 369/14.01.2015 for SC Colectiv Club SRL to operate at the premises at No. 7 Tabacarilor Street, Sector 4 Bucharest.

In doing so he harmed the rights and legitimate interests of individuals and the Sector Mayorality, as representatives of SC Colectiv Club were allowed to perform public food activities and obtain 62,298 lei in illegal proceeds.

The prosecutors assert that in order to authorize the functioning of the Colectiv Club business, Cristian Popescu Piedone issued the two administrative documents, certifying untrue circumstances, namely that SC Colectiv Club met the legal requirements for getting licensed.

At the same time, the two clerks helped the mayor in issuing the two administrative documents by breaching legal provisions and certifying untrue circumstances, as Ganea drew up the papers and Iofciu applied them the seal of approval.

Last week, Piedone asked the judges of the Bucharest Tribunal not to arrest him because he has a heart condition.

Also, Piedone’s lawyers argued that the former mayor is innocent because he just formally signed the business license of Colectiv Club and the responsibility to verify the documentation falls on his subordinates.

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