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March 21, 2023

DNA request for Ioan Oltean’s arrest gets favourable opinion from Legal Committee. Plenary vote on the lifting of the immunity on 9 December

On Wednesday, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies issued, with 14 votes in favour, four opposed and three abstentions, a favourable opinion on the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors’ request for the arrest of PNL MP Ioan Oltean, prosecuted for trafficking in influence and complicity in abuse of office. After the hearing, Oltean noted that he was innocent and that he had presented evidence to support that. He also stressed that he had never been to the locality of Chitila or the local church where the prosecutors allege he took the bribe and that he did not know the denunciator.

Oltean: I did not take money, I was not to the Chitila church and I do not know the denunciator

‘I did not commit any of the offences of influence peddling and complicity to abuse of office (…). I have never been to the Chitila locality, I have never been to the Chitila church’, Oltean said. He added he did not know the denunciator and had not taken money from Mihai Rotaru either directly or via third parties.
He also said he had shown evidence to the Legal Committee and that he had not asked ‘top be defended by anyone’.
The result of the vote was announced after the meeting by the Legal Committee Chairman, Cirpian Nica. The report is advisory and a final decision on the preventive arrest will be made in plenary session, most likely on 9 December.

Oltean pleads innocent before Legal Committee and asks for negative vote

Oltean was heard by the Legal Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies from 12:00. In his address to his colleagues – members of the committee, Oltean repeatedly upheld his innocence and that the allegations were ‘fabricated’ and ‘invented’. Ioan Oltean asked the members of the Legal Committee to vote against DNA’s request for his arrest, although, before walking into the meeting room, he had told the press he would not ask the Committee to ‘save’ him.

Asked if he wanted to be ‘saved’ from arrest by his colleagues in Parliament, Ioan Oltean said he did not. ‘I want to save myself’, said the Liberal MP to the journalists, before his hearing by the Legal Committee.

The PNL MP was accompanied by his three lawyers. PNL MP Catalin Teodorescu, investigated for corruption in the same illegal damages case, will also be heard.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies had a meeting at 12:00 and Ioan Oltean and Catalin Teodorescu went there at 9 am to study their respective files.
The Legal Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies was notified on Friday about the DNA requests regarding the two PNL MPs prosecuted for corruption. The members of the committee were expected to issue a report within three days, after interviewing the two MPs, but the deadline may be extended to 5 days for insufficient time to study the paperwork received from DNA. The two MPs went to the committee to study their files at 9 am on Wednesday.

The Standing Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies has set the plenary vote on the lifting of the immunity for the two on 9 December.

The National Anticorruption Department (DNA) last week asked the Chamber of Deputies to approve the preventive arrest of the MPs Ioan Oltean and Catalin Teodorescu in the corruption case regarding the illegal damages worth almost 109 million lei awarded by ANRP to Mihai Rotaru.

Ioan Oltean is under investigation for trafficking in influence and complicity in abuse of office where the civil servant obtains for self or others an undue benefit. Catalin Florin Teodorescu, at the time of the commission of the offences member of the Central Commission for the Establishment of Damages at the National Authority for the Restitution of Properties (ANRP), referred to court on probation in a different matter, is under investigation for abuse of office where the civil servant obtains for self or others an undue benefit.

The case regards the illegal damages approved by the ANRP Commission to businessman Mihai Rotaru, shareholder in SC Universitatea Craiova, who, in 2011, cashed almost 109 million lei for s 61,000 sq m property situated in Pitesti. The damages were paid during the period when Crinuta Dumitrean was the head of the Central Commission for the Establishment of Damages within ANRP.

Based on existing evidence, the investigators have determined that the MP Ioan Oltean, ‘who had co-interested ties with the assignee and with the ANRP president’, used his influence over the latter to expedite and grant the damages to the assignee.

‘On the other hand, the assignee remitted to the suspect Oltean Ioan the amount of 600,000 euro prior to 17.06.2010, the place where the money was received being on the premises of a parish’, DNA prosecutors allege.

MP Catalin Florin Teodorescu is accused that, together with other co-defendants, members of the ANRP Commission – Crinuta Dumitrean, at the time President of PNRP, Sergiu Diacomatu, Remus Baciu, Marko Attila, Rodica Constantinovici and Lacramioara Alexandru – illegally signed off on the valuation report appraising the over 61,000 sq m of land in Pitesti at a price of 108,932,000 lei (the equivalent of 25 million euro), amount that was awarded to Mihai Rotaru as damages.
At the Senate, the vote on the request for the arrest of PSD Senator Dan Sova is probably going to be postponed to Thursday.

Liberals to vote favorably judiciary’s requests on MPs Sova, Oltean, Teodorescu

The co-chairs of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga said on Wednesday that the Liberals would vote favorably and openly the judiciary’s requests in the case of MPs Dan Sova, Ioan Oltean and Catalin Teodorescu.

“We will vote openly. I understand that the voting has been postponed for tomorrow,” said Gorghiu, adding that the Liberals opposed, in the Senate’s Standing Bureau, the postponement of the voting on Sova.

She underscored that the Power achieves the majority in Parliament, and that the number of PNL senators at the voting in this case would be high.

Gorghiu said that the Sova-related voting was postponed for Thursday by the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and “his entourage” in the leadership so as to avoid the quorum condition.

In turn, the PNL Co-Chair Vasile Blaga said the Liberals would vote favorably the judiciary’s demands.

“We, the Parliament’s Houses, are not an element of the judiciary, not by far. We wish our three colleagues to prove their innocence, wish them all the best. We will vote for the judiciary’s demands,” said Vasile Blaga.

PSD will vote for immunity lifting on three judiciary requests

The Social Democrat Party will vote for lifting the immunity from prosecution of three lawmakers – Senator Dan Sova and MPs Ioan Oltean and Catalin Teodorescu – PSD national leader Liviu Dragnea told a news conference on Wednesday at the end of a convention of the PSD’s National Political Bureau (BNP).

“PSD’s political decision is that the PSD lawmakers, in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies will vote for immunity lifting in the three cases,” said Dragnea.

As far as the vote in the case of PSD Senator Sova is concerned, Dragnea said, “Our senators have been called to convene, they will be on duty to vote.”

He added that if there are PSD lawmakers not to vote for the requests from the judiciary they may be penalised by not being included on the list of candidates for the future elections.

Asked whether the penalties go all the way to expulsion from the party of the dissenting MPs, Dragnea said, “I do not want us to get there. The most important thing is next year, when the lists are drawn for the local and general elections.”

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