The case concerning the car crash in which Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea died on Sunday evening will be taken over by the High Court’s Prosecutor’s Office, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar told Mediafax on Monday.
“The case will be taken over by the Criminal Prosecutor and Forensics Section of the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office, under the coordination of prosecutor Romulus Varga. A member of the local prosecutor’s office was at the scene to take part in the investigations. The wreckage has been taken to the headquarters of the Ilfov County Police Inspectorate. All evidence seized at the scene has been sealed,” the Prosecutor General stated.
The owner of Hexi Pharma lost his life in a car crash that took place on Sunday evening in Ilfov County, on a road linking Buftea to Corbeanca, the crash being reported around 7.30 p.m. His car collided with a tree, the impact being so violent that the driver died on the spot. The EMS team that responded to the call found a disfigured victim at the scene.
According to a PICCJ press statement, the case was registered initially as manslaughter with the Buftea Court Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the release, an autopsy and a reconstruction were ordered, with the latter due to determine the car dynamics and the circumstances of the accident; the car was taken to the police precincts for investigations.
“The initial checks revealed that on May 22, 2016 at 18:30, while driving an Opel from Corbeanca to Buftea the victim veered off the lane and violently slammed into the trees lining the road. The driver was killed on impact,” reads the PICCJ statement.
Police and National Forensics Institute experts of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police are continuing investigations at the scene under the coordination of a prosecutor.
A prosecutor of the Buftea commune where the accident happened on Sunday evening performed on the same night a forensic examination at the scene and investigators collected evidence.
According to eyewitness testimony, the car allegedly driven by Condrea was running at 150 kilometres per hour, from Corbeanca to Buftea; the driver seems to have lost control of the car, which slammed into a tree. Police did not find traces of braking on the road, said Claudia Burada, spokesperson of the Ilfov County Police Inspectorate.
Police heard Sunday night two witnesses to the crash, and the car involved in the accident was sealed to undergo an accident reconstruction, said Burada.
”We are considering all hypotheses. The car has been sealed. The victim is a male aged 39, according to the documents found outside the car. We cannot confirm his identity, a DNA test will be performed. The driver was already dead when police arrived at the scene. A woman came to identify him. There are two witnesses, a bicyclist and a motorist who was overtaken by the victim. (…) The accident was reported at 18:47 hrs. The reconstruction will determine the speed it had before the crash and any other detail that could lead to the cause of the accident. We are also taking into account a car crash suicide hypothesis,” said the police official.
Prosecutor Romulus Varga, who will handle the investigation into the car crash in which Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea lost his life, is one of the magistrates that are handling the case concerning the hampering of combating diseases, a case in which Dan Condrea’s company has been indicted.
Condrea, the most controversial person in Romania in recent weeks
In recent weeks, Dan Condrea had been the most controversial person in Romania, being involved in the hospital disinfectants scandal that has made the headlines for many days.
Hexi Pharma’s business started at the expense of the University Hospital. The company was headquartered for well over 10 years in a location offered free of charge within the hospital’s pharmacy.
Before becoming Hexi Pharma, the company was called Universitar Farma and was set up by Dan Condrea’s father, who worked as chief pharmacist at the University Hospital. From 1994 to 2005, period in which Sorin Oprescu was hospital manager, Universitar Farma was given a location in order to carry out its production of pharmaceutical drugs. The hospital was paying the utility bills and covered 20 percent of the production costs. The hospital received 20 percent of Universitar Farma’s profit. After 2005, the company became Hexi Pharma and was taken over entirely by Virgil Condrea’s son. Contracts with hospitals all over the country started flowing in afterward.
Almost 300 healthcare units received Hexi Pharma disinfectants. Nothing seemed to ruin the business, but then revelations about diluted disinfectants started appearing.
Directly awarded contracts, accusations about rigged tenders and the hiking of profit with the help of offshore companies became known.
Hypotheses on Dan Condrea’s death
The hypothesis of a simple car crash is not ruled out, however the hypothesis of suicide is also taken into account. Specialists believe the Hexi Pharma owner had a nervous breakdown because of the pressure he had been under recently. The murder hypothesis is not ruled out either.
“One cannot live with such a sword of Damocles above one’s head. You fail, psychically speaking, you cannot. (…) My policeman’s instinct tells me that this is a suicide. He left the stage elegantly, as a strong man, a man that gambled, this is the psychological profile of a man capable of doing this,” forensic psychologist Liviu Chesnoiu stated on Digi24.
A security guard from the residential centre where the owner of Hexi Pharma lived says Dan Condrea was depressed.
Tudorel Butoi, forensic psychologist, says we have to take into account the existence of a person significantly pressured by elements related to the investigation, responsibility and involvement. “Faced with such situations, this is not the first time people commit suicide. Such an image, in which the body of the car is indistinguishable, you don’t know where the engine is, what happened there makes me believe we can think about any kind of hypotheses, including murder,” Tudorel Butoi stated on Digi24.
“Based on my experience of dozens of years and thousands of crashes I have investigated, it could have been falling asleep at the wheel, lack of focus, he may have dropped his phone and the moment he reached down to pick it up he crashed into the trees. The accident investigation will establish the circumstances of the crash,” chief commissioner Lucian Dinita stated.
Investigators also state that Dan Condrea most likely did not use the seatbelt since his body was found outside the car. A series of technical tests will be carried out in order to eliminate or substantiate the hypothesis that the crash took place because of a problem with the car.
Since there are also suspicions that the victim may not be Condrea, police officers will also order DNA testing in order to establish that the victim is the Hexi Pharma owner whose ID was found at the site of the crash.
Augustin Lazar: Condrea was about to be heard on Monday in diluted disinfectants case
Romanian Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar also stated that Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea would have been heard on Monday in the diluted disinfectants case and that “several things would have occurred,” things that Dan Condrea allegedly knew.
“In recent days, under the coordination of prosecutors, judicial bodies have seized several documents, procurement contracts that the company had concluded with hospitals in and around Bucharest. The damage in this case could have been and will be assessed. The subpoenaing of the person concerned, in order to notify him of the indictment, was imminent. Pre-trial measures could have been taken. There are clues that he was about to be heard today and many other things could have occurred. Those involved in cases always know what is about to happen,” Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar said at the General Prosecutor’s Office.
“The course of the investigation will not change, it will be one in which all aspects concerning all persons concerned will be clarified. Police officers are at the scene. The investigation is the regular one carried out in order to see whether this is an accident or a suicide. Representatives of the Romanian Police’s Forensic Institute were at the scene. We are talking about an ongoing investigation, however there are very strong clues that the dead person is Dan Condrea. We are talking about the company’s car and the ID belongs to that person. Usually, in such cases the investigations are into vehicular manslaughter,” Augustin Lazar pointed out.
New details in Dan Condrea’s death: Hexi Pharma’s owner was on the phone at the time of car crash
Dan Condrea was on the phone with his wife at the time of the car crash, investigators revealed on Monday. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General’s Office is yet to confirm the identity of the victim. Prosecutors have stated they are waiting for the results of the DNA testing and of the technical investigation of the vehicle involved in the crash. The technical investigation started on Monday.
Dan Condrea’s current wife told police officers that she talked on the phone with him for a very long time that day. Condrea was most likely on the phone at the time of the crash too.
When their phone conversation cut off, she insistently called him back until police officers appeared on the scene. According to information obtained by Digi24, one of the police officers answered the phone and told Condrea’s wife what had happened.
Another police team went to Condrea’s home, taking his wife to the crash scene in order for her to identify the body. She confirmed the ID found at the scene and told them he recognises his clothes.
Dan Condrea’s wife also recounted that he had told her that he was going out to take a breath of fresh air, that he was not feeling well at all, that he was nervous and slept very little.
Sebastian Ghita, outraged by Condrea case: “Let’s clarify what national security means”
According to the statements made by the Prosecutor General, Hexi Pharma’s owner was not under surveillance at the time of the crash in which he lost his life. Augustin Lazar’s statement came as an answer to MP Sebastian Ghita, who asked for the surveillance tape to be viewed within Parliament’s Commission on Intelligence. Ghita talked about surveillance allegedly carried out by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) on the basis of a national security warrant and expressed his outrage with the possibility that Hexi Pharma’s owner was not kept under surveillance.
“This is obviously a real “national security” case. If thousands of people in Romania are kept under surveillance based on national security warrants, then I will ask within the Intelligence Commission whether there was any warrant in this case. If yes, we should know what the warrant was and how it was enforced. If not… then let’s clarify what national security means. If this case, in which the deeds are so serious and concern the sickening of tens of thousands of people, is not a national security case, then I have no words. I read my colleague Cezar Preda’s comments this morning. I respect his opinion. CCR [Romanian Constitutional Court] has said that SRI is not conducting surveillance as part of criminal investigations. My question however remains: this HexiPharma case was not seen as a national security case not even after a month? What if this Condrea were to flee the country? Wouldn’t that have been a new Hayssam case?” Sebastian Ghita stated for stiripesurse.ro.
Commission on Intelligence convenes urgently following Hexi Pharma owner’s death
Octavian Marius Popa, Deputy Chairman of Parliament’s Commission on Intelligence, has asked, alongside Sebastian Ghita, for the convening of a Commission meeting, stating that Dan Condrea’s death is raising several questions.
“I called Mr. Georgian Pop (Chairman of the Commission on Intelligence – editor’s note). At first, his line was busy. Afterward he didn’t answer my call. I couldn’t contact him. I’ll try again in the morning. I too believe we should meet, to see what has to be done. (…) To top it all off, this crash, this death occurs, raising question marks. I believe Sebastian Ghita is not worried for naught,” PNL MP Octavian-Marius Popa, Deputy Chairman of the Commission on Intelligence, stated on Sunday evening for Mediafax.
MP Sebastian Ghita reacted in his turn too on Sunday evening to the news of the violent and extremely suspicious death of Hexi Pharma’s owner.
“After this event, 20 million Romanians suspect us of being a mafia state. Nobody will believe us. We will ask the Commission on Intelligence to see the surveillance tape and the way this event took place,” Sebastian Ghita stated for stiripesurse.ro.
Condrea’s ex-wife: “He wasn’t the type to kill himself, he was the type that would have killed you!”
Laura, the woman Dan Condrea had been married to for 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, stated for gsp.ro that “he was not the type to kill himself, he was the type that would have killed you. If it’s suicide they drove him to it.”
Over the weekend, his 10-year-old daughter stayed at his ex-wife. In the afternoon, the visiting period was over, and his ex-wife was waiting for him to come pick the girl up.
“Condrea did not show up and we were actually wondering what is going on,” the ex-wife confessed to some friends. “At one point, his driver from the company, a strange guy who had previously worked for some alphabet agency, showed up at the door,” the ex-wife told her friends.
Dan Condrea was an experienced driver, “he was driving fast and well, he was also into karting,” a Hexi Pharma employee stated.
One of Condrea’s last text messages: Don’t worry, I’ll no longer work in this domain
Journalist Catalin Tolontan reveals one of Dan Condrea’s last text messages.
“Today at noon, before the crash, I talked with several people from Hexi Pharma. In order to find out the latest developments,” Tolontan wrote on gsp.ro, pointing out that he talked with his Hexi Pharma source approximately five hours before the crash. The journalist says Dan Condrea had secluded himself from all other company employees who were considering him responsible for the situation created.
“- Were you still in touch with Dan Condrea?
-He was sending me text messages from time to time. He did so recently.
-What was he saying?
-“Don’t worry, I will no longer work in this domain!”
-What does that mean?
-I can’t tell for sure. He probably refers to the idea that his company might recover without him, that’s how I see it.
-Is Condrea surprised by the result of the tests?
-Yes, he’s shocked. He says he knew about Thor, he admitted that, but he swears he did not know the others have problems.
-How is Flori Dinu?
-Is she also shocked?
-Yes, because she says she knew nothing, absolutely nothing about the dilution. She says only Condrea ran the plant, nobody except him had a direct link with the plant.”
Victor Ponta reacts to Hexi Pharma owner’s death: What did this man know and who was afraid?
Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta reacted on Sunday evening to the death of Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea. Victor Ponta expressed his perplexity and shock with the circumstances of his death.
“My God! It really is shocking! What is going on in our country?!? How is this possible?!? Who has the power to do this?!? What did this man know and who was afraid of him?!?
Unfortunately, Romania of 2016 means fear, suspicion and unseen forces that are in fact deciding our lives!
P.S. I saw that the Commission on Intelligence also confirmed that during my term as Prime Minister I did not receive A SINGLE REPORT on the “Hexi Pharma” topic. Same goes for the 3-year term of Premier Emil Boc!,” Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
On Monday, Ponta posted a new message on Facebook: “Because the question is there in the minds of millions of Romanians, I believe that “People had to die” in order to bury this huge corruption affair and to never find out who the culprit is!!! Right, Mr. President?!? And I also believe that “corruption kills” only when Mr. Iohannis has personal and direct interests, in other cases “corruption commits suicide”!,” the ex-premier wrote.
Monica Macovei: I doubt that is Dan Condrea’s body. Authorities should clearly tell us who was in the car
The disappearance of Hexi Pharma’s owner could limit the amount of information prosecutors could tap into in order to advance in their investigation in the case concerning the use of diluted disinfectants in hospitals, MEP Monica Macovei, former Justice Minister, claims. The president of the M10 party doubts the deceased is Dan Condrea.
Monica Macovei believes that “the authorities should now do very many things. First of all, we have to know whether that body is really his – and DNA samples can be taken and checked – or whether he left or was taken out of the country precisely in order not to give statements. I believe this is the most plausible version at this moment. So DNA and they should tell us clearly who that man is.”
Asked whether she personally doubts that is Dan Condrea’s body, Monica Macovei answered: “Yes, I have doubts, yes. I have doubts because his face is unrecognizable. The timing is again very important, he was about to give statements, maybe some people did not want him giving statements or he did not want to give statements. I believe it was a time when his disappearance, if not physical then out of the country, would have stopped many things,” RFI informs.
What effects would Dan Condrea’s death have on the ongoing investigation into the diluted disinfectants case, provided it is officially confirmed he was the person who died in the crash? “It might limit the amount of information prosecutors could access in order to advance in their investigation,” the ex-Justice Minister stated.