DNA requests notification of Lower Chamber to approve detention and pre-trial arrest of MP Rizea

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi requests that the Lower Chamber be notified in order to approve the detention and pre-trial arrest of MP Cristian Rizea, accused of influence peddling, money laundering and influencing witnesses.

‘In accordance with legal and constitutional provisions, the Chief Prosecutor (…) has sent to the Prosecutor’s Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice the request and the report drafted in the case, in order to notify the Justice Minister to request the Lower Chamber’s permission to detain and place MP Rizea Cristian under pre-trial arrest,’ a statement sent by the DNA reads, according to Agerpres.

According to the statement, Rizea is accused of influence peddling, money laundering in continuous form (two material acts) and influencing witnesses (two counts).

‘On 2 December 2009, according to a previous agreement, the accused, Rizea Cristian, received from another accused in the case, Coltea Lucian, a businessman holding US citizenship, the amount of 200,000 Euros, and, a few days later, on 6 December 2009, the amount of 100,000 Euros – 300.000 Euros in total – in order to intervene with two institutions, the Autonomous Direction for the Administration of State Protocol Patrimony (RA APPS) and the Chiajna City Hall, to speed up restitution procedures for a piece of land situated in a residential area of Bucharest municipality, respectively to obtain property rights on another piece of land currently subject to dispute with the Chiajna City Hall, for the benefit of Coltea Lucian,’ the statement reads.

In order to hide the origin of the amount of 300,000 Euros received by the MP as a result of influence peddling, the two parties concluded four false loan agreements.

Rizea is also accused of having tried to influence two witnesses in the case he was already being investigated by DNA prosecutors.

‘In December 2015, amid the criminal investigation in question, the accused Rizea Cristian approached two of the witnesses and told them not to tell the truth to the prosecutors, promising the two that, should he become mayor of District 5, he would offer them, free of charge, retail space in the Cotroceni area, in order for them to open a new clinic,’ the DNA statement reads.

In the same case, DNA prosecutors ordered the 24-hour detention of U.S. citizen Lucian Coltea for committing the offense of buying influence and money laundering in continuous form (two material acts). The accused was presented Wednesday to the High Court of Cassation and Justice with a proposal for 30-day pre-trial arrest.

Liviu Dragnea: “PSD not changing political attitude on this type of issues”

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated that he regretfully learned about the DNA’s request to detain and arrest MP Cristian Rizea and PSD Lower Chamber lawmakers will not block the judiciary in any way.

“We are no longer holding a session. I regretfully found out, but PSD is not changing its political attitude on this type of issues, which we regret, but after all Justice should not be blocked in any way,” Liviu Dragnea said in Parliament on Thursday.

The Lower Chamber’s Judiciary Commission has to issue a report on the DNA’s request by Monday at noon. The DNA’s case file is impressive: 8 volumes that total 2,474 pages.

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