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May 16, 2021

MP Cristian Rizea, heard by DNA prosecutors

MP Cristian Rizea came Thursday morning to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA)  hqs for hearings, after deputies have approved Wednesday his detention, but not pre-trial arrest request.


MP Cristian Rizea can be detained, but not arrested: The MP asked his colleagues to protect him from prosecutors and blamed PNL for what is happening to him


Lower Chamber lawmakers debated in a plenum meeting on Wednesday the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) requests to approve the detention and pre-trial arrest of Social Democrat MP Cristian Rizea. Lawmakers did not approve the pre-trial arrest request. Of the valid votes cast, 120 were in favour of approving the DNA’s pre-trial arrest request, and 105 were against, but the threshold necessary for the decision to pass – 50 per cent plus one of the MPs present – was not reached. In what concerns the detention request, Lower Chamber lawmakers voted in favour.

Social Democrat MP Cristian Rizea told journalists to demand the PNL surveys on local elections candidates, claiming that doing so would help them understand what is happening to him.

“Ask PNL for the surveys, they were ready on Monday, and you will understand the reason this is happening to me now. Ask those from PNL, because maybe you did not trust the PSD surveys and those of the political opponents are far more objective. Ask, make them public and you will find the answer to what is happening to me,” Rizea said in Parliament.

Asked whether he changed his mind about his candidacy for the District 5 Mayoralty, he answered: “No, not at all. I am a man of honour and when I say something I will never break my word – whether in front of you or of the citizens I want and wanted to represent in District 5. It wasn’t possible, that’s that, but nobody can take away my dignity.”

Prior to the vote, the PSD politician gave a speech in the Lower Chamber, one in which he also mentioned the two-year-old child he adopted. He also explained how he was taken away to the hearings, interpreting the moment as useless abuse against him, given the fact that he wanted to collaborate with investigators. “I am not asking you to vote against justice, but justice does not mean disregard for the right to defence,” Rizea said before his colleagues. He added that he was “picked up from the street like the lowest fugitive” and that by voting against the DNA’s request “they will not block justice” but will censure “a series of procedural inadvertencies.”

“What is striking is that in the prosecutors’ referral I am considered a danger for public opinion. It’s unacceptable. (…) How can someone state that I, Cristian Rizea, am allegedly a danger for public opinion? Just because some prosecutors are carrying out an investigation? It’s inconceivable. The investigation is taking place on the basis of a denunciation,” Rizea said.

“I want to fight and prove my innocence for [the sake of] my two-year-old child. What you don’t know is that this child was adopted by me and my wife two hours after he was born. This procedure ends in November this year. I let you decide if starting tomorrow I will be able to continue this procedure alongside my wife,” the PSD MP added, appealing to his colleagues’ sympathy.

The Lower Chamber’s Judiciary Commission approved on Monday the DNA request to approve the detention and pre-trial arrest of PSD MP Cristian Rizea. He is accused of influence peddling, money laundering (recurrent) and influencing witnesses.

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