Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea on Wednesday went to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on a summons, after the Senate approved the prosecutors’ request to start probing him in the case in which former heads of the Intelligence and Internal Protection Department (DIPI) are also being investigated.
Upon entering the DNA headquarters, Gabriel Oprea didn’t make any statements.
On February 17, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi requested the notification of the Senate for the start of criminal prosecution against Senator Gabriel Oprea, Deputy Prime Minister for national security and Minister of Internal Affairs at the time of the offenses, for abuse of office, if the public worker obtained ill-gotten gains for himself or other.
The 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 and 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.
In the same case the DNA decided to prosecute 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 counts); and Chief Police Quaestor Nelu Zarnica, DIPI Head Deputy at the time the alleged crimes, for embezzlement in repeated form (2 counts).
Oprea, upon leaving DNA hdqrs: I only followed security rules; I am innocent
Upon leaving the main offices of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Gabriel Oprea stated that he is innocent. About the cars acquired under his tenure, he said the relevant legal procedures were met.
“I only followed security rules. I am innocent and I will prove my innocence,” Oprea said after talking to prosecutors.