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April 11, 2021

Judgment in referendum case, on April 22. Liviu Dragnea asks for acquittal

The judgment in the referendum case is scheduled for April 22. At the last court hearing, Liviu Dragnea asked to be acquitted because he considers himself innocent.

The Social Democrat leader stated at the last court hearing that he considers himself innocent and should be acquitted. “I would like to ask you to disregard the National Anticorruption Directorate’s description. This is not my attitude toward people. The 20 years spent in public service are a witness to this. Militants, not only from PSD but from all parties, are encouraging people to vote because this is the meaning of an elections campaign. At the referendum, there was a brutal confrontation between the Romanian people and Basescu. No party could have obtained undue benefits. I strongly believe I am innocent and I am asking for the acquittal,” Liviu Dragnea said in court on Friday.

DNA prosecutors asked High Court of Justice magistrates to adopt an executory sentence against PSD President Liviu Dragnea, the lowest punishment requested by the DNA being three to five years in jail. The prosecutors’ request points out that the PSD leader allegedly treated voters as objects and not casting ballots was seen “as a whim, not a right.”

On 15 May 2015, High Court judges sentenced Liviu Dragnea, PSD secretary general at the time the crimes were committed, to one year in jail, in the case concerning the 2012 impeachment referendum. The decision was not final. Liviu Dragnea was arraigned for using his influence or authority in order to obtain undue benefits for himself or for another person.

According to the prosecutors, “during the impeachment referendum, on 29 July 2012, Liviu Dragnea used his party influence and authority in order to obtain undue electoral benefits for the political alliance his party was a member of, namely to reach the voter turnout threshold with the help of votes obtained illegally.”

Investigators claim Dragnea was backed by the presidents and members of 74 voting centres located in Teleorman, Vrancea, Gorj and Olt counties. They were arraigned for forging electoral office documents and introducing in the ballot boxes an extra number of ballots other than those cast by voters, crimes committed as authors, accomplices and instigators.

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