The Senate lifted the immunity of Senator Gabriel Oprea, former Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, in a 71-to-52 secret vote on Wednesday, with one vote cancelled.
The Senate thus approved the request of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to prosecute Oprea for malfeasance in office, in connection with expenditures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs under his tenure as minister.
The Senate’s Standing Bureau analyzed the DNA’s request on Monday. The request, filed last week, asks the Senate to approve the start of its criminal prosecution against Gabriel Oprea in the second corruption case in which the former Interior Minister is accused of buying a luxury car and other goods from funds earmarked for police missions.
In a speech before the vote, Oprea claimed his innocence and asked his fellow Senators to reject the DNA’s request.
“I want to tell you in a few words, in a simple, humane, collegial manner. And I want to tell you the truth. In my entire career as minister, lawmaker, and with your assistance, I fought for the rights of servicemen, of the other structures of the Interior Ministry. During my tenure, not one but over 5,000 cars were legally and transparently purchased, there was no problem,” the UNPR Senator said before his colleagues.
“This car was legally procured, I didn’t ask for the car,” Oprea said, referring to the accusation that he allegedly ordered the procurement of a luxury car from funds earmarked for police missions.
“I respected the laws all my life, I am innocent, consequently I am asking you to vote against this request,” the UNPR President concluded.
Senator Doina Tudor: “The period the accusations concern coincides with my divorce”
Also on Wednesday, the Senators decided that PNL Senator Doina Tudor can be detained and arrested, the tally being 61 votes in favour and 57 against.
PNL Senator Doina Tudor brought arguments that concern her personal life alongside her former husband, stating she is innocent.
“The accusations brought against me are completely groundless and false. I am accused of being an accessory to passive bribery in 2013. The period the accusations concern coincides with my divorce. After 28 years I found out my husband was having an affair. There are no words to describe the pain of a woman. My life, ruined, was publicly exposed,” Tudor said before her colleagues.
“The accusations brought against me are based on the denunciation of a single person, defendant in the case. There is no evidence pointing to my involvement. (…) I am not a defendant, I am innocent. The judiciary can do its job without me being detained and arrested. I don’t believe I represent an imminent public danger as the DNA referral claims,” the PNL Senator added.
Tudor is investigated in the case in which Daniel George Tudor, her former husband, was detained for passive bribery. At the time the alleged crimes were committed, he was President of the Insurance Supervisory Commission and later Vice President of the Financial Supervisory Authority.