JUSTICE

Distraint placed on part of Oprea’s wealth. Former Interior Minister, summoned at the DNA as defendant

Former Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea showed up at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Wednesday.

Prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) have issued a precautionary attachment order over assets of former deputy prime minister and interior minister Gabriel Oprea and of two other defendants, to cover 410,000 lei (approximately 91,000 Euros – editor’s note), a DNA release informed on Wednesday.

The order refers to real estate in Bucharest and the counties of Ilfov and Giurgiu, belonging to Oprea and to Gheorghe Nicolae and Gabriel-Nicolae Pavel.

“The precautionary measure has been ordered by anti-corruption prosecutors to recover the damage caused by the defendants by committing the offence of abuse of office, if the public servant has obtained undue benefits for themselves or for others. The defendants were informed about the precautionary order in accordance with the provisions of the CPP (Criminal Procedure Code – editor’s note),” the release adds.

It also mentions that the beginning of criminal prosecution is a stage of the criminal trial as regulated by the CPP, necessary to propose some preventive measures – an activity that cannot under any circumstances break the presumption of innocence.

Gabriel Oprea was indicted for malfeasance in office on April 11, before he was arraigned in the case in which he is a defendant alongside former DIPI directors Nicolae Gheorghe and Nelu Zarnica.

Prior to that, on March 2, Gabriel Oprea became a suspect after the Senate green-lighted, on February 24, the lifting of his immunity. The charges brought by prosecutors are malfeasance in office that results in the civil servant obtaining undue benefits for himself or for others.

According to the DNA, on 13 July 2015, the former Interior Minister ordered the hiking, by RON 410,000, of the funds for DIPI’s operating expenditures and approved the purchase of an Audi A8 auto vehicle for “ensuring the protection of dignitaries.” The funds however were illegally used for the purchase of the car, given the fact that they could only have been used for procurements necessary in combating corruption. Prosecutors claim Gabriel Oprea was aided by Nicolae Gheorghe, director of DIPI at the time, and by Gabriel Nicolae Pavel, head of DIPI’s legal service, both of them defendants in the case.

Gabriel Oprea is investigated for malfeasance in office also in the case concerning the illegal use of an official motorcade, a case opened after the death of police officer Bogdan Gigina, member of Bucharest’s Traffic Police.

Likewise, Gabriel Oprea’s name also appears in the case in which Bucharest District 2’s suspended mayor Neculai Ontanu is the target of a criminal probe.

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