JUSTICE

Anticorruption authority initiates criminal prosecution against Gabriel Oprea for abuse of office: “I am innocent and I’ll prove it. I have always done my duty”

The prosecutors of the Corruption Section of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) ordered on Wednesday the start of prosecution against former Deputy Premier and Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea for abuse of office in a case where former heads with the Intelligence and Internal Protection Department (DIPI) are also being probed.

“Following the acknowledgement of the results of the February 24 Senate vote on DNA’s request to start the prosecution, DNA (…) ordered the start of the prosecution against current Senator Gabriel Oprea, who filled the positions of Deputy Prime Minister for National Security and Minister of Internal Affairs, for the offence of abuse of office, with the procurement of ill-gotten gains for self or others,” reads a DNA release to Agerpres.

On February 17, DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi requested the notification of the Senate for the start of the criminal prosecution against Senator Gabriel Oprea.

DNA specified that on July 13, 2015 Gabriel Oprea, in his then capacity as Minister of Internal Affairs and budget authorizing officer, with the help of DIPI Secretary of State Nicolae Gheorghe and head of the Legal Service Gabriel-Nicolae Pavel, ordered the supplementation of DIPI funds by 410,000 lei for operating expenses, and approved the acquisition of an Audi A8 for ensuring the protection of the dignitaries.

“This was done with the violation of the law provisions that restrict the acquisition of vehicles from the Ministry’s operating funds to situations strictly related to their use for the prosecution of corruption offenses. As a result of the violation of office powers, the state budget suffered a loss of 410,000 lei. Between August 21 – October 2015, the Minister of Internal Affairs had exclusive use of the Audi A8, which was acquired in the aforementioned manner,” the prosecutors said.

On February 15, the DNA announced the initiation of the criminal investigation against Nicolae Gheorghe, police principal quaestor, who at the time of the offences was Head of the Department of Intelligence and Internal Protection, for complicity to abuse of office and two counts of funds embezzlement.

Also prosecuted in the same case are Chief Police Commissioner Gabriel Nicolae Pavel, who at the time of the alleged crimes was Head of DIPI’s Legal Service, for complicity to abuse of office, if the official obtained for self or for others undue benefits, in repeated form; Chief Commissioner Marian Danut Iacob, Head of DIPI’s Administrative Division at the time of the alleged offences, for embezzlement in repeated form (3 material counts); and Chief Police Quaestor Nelu Zarnica, DIPI Head Deputy at the time the alleged crimes, for embezzlement in repeated form (2 material counts).

 

Gabriel Oprea: Threats identified in 2015 against Interior Ministry management, car purchased but not at my order

 

Former Deputy Premier and Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea declared on Wednesday upon leaving the headquarters of the National Anticoruption Directorate (DNA) that the state institutions in charge identified in 2015 threats to the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and that consequently a car was purchased, yet not at his order.

“In 2015, the state institutions in charge identified threats to the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there are documents to prove it. This was the integrated co-work of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), the Intelligence and Internal Protection Department (DIPI), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), and the Army’s Intelligence Department. In this context, DIPI reestablished a former security unit for the MAI management, they started from scratch and, among others, they acquired the car that is the object of this case. I didn’t request this car, this can be proven and the former DIPI head also admitted in his statements that I didn’t ask for it, all I did was to comply with the security regulations,” Oprea said.

He added that not just one, but 5,000 cars have been acquired during his term, in a perfectly legal and transparent manner for police, border police, gendarmes, firefighters and other structures, for them to duly accomplish their missions.

“I am innocent and I’ll prove it. I have always done my duty,” Oprea added.

The prosecutors of DNA’s Corruption Section ordered on Wednesday the start of prosecution against former Deputy Premier and Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea for abuse of office in a case where former DIPI heads are also being probed.

Oprea is being prosecuted for having ordered in July 2015, in his then capacity as Minister of Internal Affairs and budget authorizing officer, with the help of DIPI Secretary of State Nicolae Gheorghe and head of the Legal Service Gabriel-Nicolae Pavel, the supplementation of DIPI funds by 410,000 lei for operating expenses, and for having approved the acquisition of an Audi A8 for ensuring the protection of the dignitaries.

DNA states that “this was done with the violation of the law provisions that restrict the acquisition of vehicles from the Ministry’s operating funds to situations strictly related to their use for the prosecution of corruption offenses. As a result of the violation of office powers, the state budget suffered a loss of 410,000 lei. Between August 21 – October 2015, the Minister of Internal Affairs had exclusive use of the Audi A8, which was acquired in the aforementioned manner.”

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