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May 19, 2021

SocDem deputy Madalin Voicu, helped by colleagues to avoid arrest. MP Nicolae Paun can be detained

The Lower Chamber rejected in a 170-to-116 secret ballot vote on Wednesday the request filed by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) to approve the detention of Social-Democrat lawmaker Madalin Voicu (photo).

Also, the Lower Chamber rejected in a 158-to-103 secret ballot vote on Wednesday the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) request to approve the pre-trial arrest of Social-Democrat deputy Madalin Voicu.

MP Nicolae Paun was not as lucky. His colleagues approved his detention with 128 votes in favour and 78 against. However, he avoided pre-trial arrest since the quorum was no longer met – 178 lawmakers were present in the room and the presence of at least 191 was required for the vote to be considered valid. Nicolae Paun was not present in Parliament to argue his case.

The Lower Chamber’s Judiciary Commission had issued on Monday a positive report on the DNA’s separate requests for the Lower Chamber to approve the detention (a measure ordered by a prosecutor for a maximum period of 24 hours) and pre-trial arrest (a possible decision taken by a court upon the prosecution’s demand) of Voicu.

Similar DNA requests were formulated for Roma Party MP Nicolae Paun. The Lower Chamber has scheduled four separate plenary session votes, two (detention and pre-trial arrest, respectively) for each MP.

The DNA accuses Madalin Voicu of influence peddling, misrepresentation and money laundering (all recurrent).
Roma Party President Nicolae Paun is accused, among other things, of embezzlement, money laundering, purchasing influence, embezzlement of European funds, illegal use of European funds and influencing witnesses (all recurrent).

Former ANAF President Gelu Stefan Diaconu and former ANAF Vice President Mihai Vatasoiu are also prosecuted in the case.

Madalin Voicu: “I don’t understand why I have this fate, I’m an honest person”

Social Democrat MP Madalin Voicu asked his colleagues on Wednesday not to approve the detention and pre-trial arrest request because he is innocent and it would be “terrible humiliation” for him.

“I refuse to believe that somebody could consider me guilty. I don’t understand why I have this fate, considering that I am an honest, educated, spotless person. Please don’t approve the detention and pre-trial arrest because I am innocent and this would be a terrible humiliation; but it is inadmissible for things that have to do with some kind of pressure to happen to me and others in a country that claims to de democratic. I don’t believe some of you can suspect me of influence peddling. A single issue from the indictment is worth remembering, which, in my opinion, has nothing to do with influence peddling, the fact that I called Mr. Teodorovici (former Finance Minister – editor’s note) at Nicolae Paun’s request, in order for the former to meet the latter, without discussing the topic,” Madalin Voicu stated within the Lower Chamber.

He added that he has nothing to do with those projects mentioned in the case file and the news according to which he had embezzled funds earmarked for the Roma minority “are abominable lies.”

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