Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea said after having been heard by the judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice on Monday in the Referendum file that he is innocent and believes “in the maturity and wisdom of the court”.
“I keep on believing in my innocence, I believe in truth, in the maturity and wisdom of the court. I make no further declaration”, Dragnea said on leaving the Supreme Court headquarters.
He was also asked by the reporters whether he recommends the PSD lawmakers to vote in favour of a request made by the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to strip Senator Dan Sova of immunity.
“My recommendation is to vote for stripping of immunity. Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, a constitutional provision forces the parliamentarians, who are neither judges nor prosecutors, to make a judicial decision of very great importance for the fate of a man. I think it is a judge, not us, the parliamentarians, who should decide”, Dragnea said, adding he would also agree with modifying the constitution with respect to the lawmakers’ immunity.
A three-judge panel of the High Court of Cassation and Justice sentenced Dragnea on May 15 to a year in prison, not to be served and three-year probation in the Referendum file. Another 74 persons charged in the file were either acquitted or given suspended prison sentences. The ruling was appealed.
Dragnea was sent to trial by the DNA prosecutors in Oct. 2013 on charges of using the influence or authority by a person holding a leading party position with a view to obtaining undue gains for themselves or another person.
According to the anti-corruption body, Dragnea, in his capacity of the PSD Secretary General used his influence in the party on the occasion of the organisation and conduct of the referendum from July 29, 2012 on the suspension of then-President Traian Basescu in order to obtain electoral undue gains for the political alliance of which his political grouping was part, namely to get the required voter turnout by the help of the ballots obtained in conditions other than legal.