Former Youth Minister Monica Iacob-Ridzi expressed her disappointment on the fact Klaus Iohannis had overruled her request of reprieve: “I was naive to believe there was any kindness left”, she wrote on her blog on Sunday.
“Children are enjoying the gifts they received and share their joy with their parents. Not all of them, unfortunately.
My children are sad. As sad as they have been for ten months, as I was no longer by their side. They are too young to understand why their mother is not coming home, and this situation affects them deeply.
My little girl has just turned two, and the little boy is five years old. Ever since she started talking, the little girl keeps telling me: “Mommy, please, come home, come to me. Why aren’t you coming?” and the little boy, who was told I am at a hospital, although he cannot understand why there are police officers guarding me, asks me every week, as he comes to visit me, whether I will get well until Christmas. My eyes get misty each time and my voice breaks; I am unable to give him answers sometimes.
I have always spent Christmas at home. I once told him that it depended on the doctor if I would get better or not, and Andrei innocently told me he wanted to ask the doctor to do something for me to get well faster, so that I could come home to them. Only God knows how I feel.
I have lived during the last few months hoping that there was a trace of kindness left in Romania. Any ounce of hope died two days ago when I heard on TV about the fact that the request of reprieve I had filed seven months ago was rejected by the Romanian President personally. The news struck me like thunder. I had been naive once again to believe that there was still human kindness left, that the only “doctor” who was able to “treat” me to be with my little angels sooner would be willing to drop his coat of ice.
I was naive to think a childless man had anything but a stone instead of his heart.
I did not believe people who told me that a childless person would understand the drama of a mother’s heart, of the soul of desperate parents, of the souls of very young and innocent children.
I was naive to believe the request would be attentively analyzed and charitable aspects would matter, granting a favourable decision.
Although I have also attached documents that proved my innocence for the crimes I was condemned for with a prison sentence of five years (based on sanctions stipulated in the previous Criminal Code, so that the sentence would be harsher, although the new Criminal Code stipulating lesser sanctions was more favourable, but it was not applied), I did not bring up these aspects as a reason of the request of reprieve, I only attached them because it was demanded by the law and my individual reprieve did not mean that Mr. President considered I was innocent, but it would have simply shown his kindness, his comprehension of the dramatic situation my children and I experience at this point, and it have been offered proof that he was not indifferent to the needs and suffering of people desperately crying for help, knowing that the President was the only person able to save them.
I notice that indifference is actually the essence of the lack of humanity.
An individual reprieve would not have meant deleting my criminal records, nor the prejudice (covered, actually, by the sequestration of the goods I own with my family).
I never questioned the prejudice, although it was the one established by the prosecutor, ignoring the accountant’s expertise demanded by the Court, that revealed there was no prejudice in this case.
My individual reprieve would not have meant a violation of the statement made during the electoral campaign, when Mr. President declared he would not release politicians accused of corruption related crimes, because I was never accused and never convicted of corruption crimes. The crime of abuse of office established in my case is a job-related offence, not a corruption crime.
My individual amnesty would have meant JUST being pardoned of completing the rest of my prison sentence. I would have kept all the other additional sanctions and obligations (I was established prohibitions for as long as eight years!).
It is obvious for me that neither the President, nor his advisers are familiar with the situation in Romanian penitentiaries. If they saw the conditions convicts were “reeducated” in, the torture, the humiliation, the diseases, the suffering, the misery… perhaps they would think twice before reaching decisions that affect the lives of people and their children.
A reprieve would have represented a gesture of kindness, a gesture of superior conscience from behalf of Romania’s President, a gesture I have hoped for, in my naivety. A gesture that would have shown Mr. President as a more humane character, as more empathetic with children’s distress; it would have proven he was a human being, first of all.”
Monica Iacob Ridzi was given a definitive sentence of five years of prison by the High Court on February 16, 2015, for abuse of office concerning the events organized in 2009 on Youth Day. The former Minister gave herself in at that time at Cluj County Police and was imprisoned at the external branch of the Gherla Penitentiary, in Cluj Napoca. Yet, due to her health issues, she was transferred to the Jilava Penitentiary Hospital. Afterwards, she was moved back to the Cluj Napoca-based external branch of the Gherla Penitentiary.
On March 26, the former Youth and Sport Minister submitted a request registered at Ilfov Court, demanding the ceasing of the sentence, as she allegedly suffered of numerous medical conditions, including thrombophilia and leuko-neutropenia. Immediately after being put behind bars, Ridzi complained about the conditions convicts had to endure, pointing out that health care in prisons was poorly organized and that the sentence to prison may be a sentence to death for someone challenged with her medical issues.