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November 12, 2019
JUSTICE

A first in post-1989 Romania, an ex-president sent before court: Traian Basescu indicted in case in which Gabriela Firea accuses him of blackmail and uttering threats

Ex-president Traian Basescu has been indicted by High Court of Justice prosecutors in the case in which he is accused of allegedly threatening Gabriela Firea, who is currently Bucharest Mayor.

According to the exclusive information obtained by Antena 3 journalist Radu Tudor, the prosecutor who is handling the case has signed the report and has sent the case file to court.

This is the first time since December 1989 that a Romanian ex-president is indicted. Traian Basescu is officially accused of uttering threats.

The Basescu-Firea scandal started after the ex-president referred to the Bucharest’s current mayor by saying that he is able to state even now that “she is a good journalist but a catastrophe as a jurist.”

“She’d better take a step back and take care of what is happening on her husband’s estate, where he is mayor. Because one day she might not find him home if she isn’t careful. From what I understand plenty of bad things are taking place in his parish,” Basescu said on 14 April 2014.

 

Gabriela Firea: Officially I am not aware of this information

 

“I want to tell you that it is a surprise for me. I found out this information from your producer this evening. Officially I am not aware of this information. I’m hearing it from you, on the air, live. I’ve contacted Mr. Bolcas. He told me that from a procedural standpoint I should have been informed about the prosecutor’s report, which hasn’t happened. Officially, I haven’t received any information. I actually discussed with lawyer Bolcas about this topic in early July and he told me it could be finalised and I will be informed,” Gabriela Firea stated in a talk-show with Radu Tudor on Antena 3.

Lawyer Lucian Bolcas: “We are talking about an insult addressed to a lady. This is the essence of the phenomenon and if it is enhanced by the office held by the person who did it, obviously the result has to be criminal sanction.”

The indictment of the ex-president comes after the mediation between the two sides failed. “I will take counsel from my family and from Mr. Bolcas and we will see what’s next,” Gabriela Firea pointed out. As part of the mediation, the ex-president should have admitted that he should not have behaved and talked to a Senator like he did. He would have avoided the indictment had he done so.

 

 Basescu: What wouldn’t Ms. Camelia Sutiman do for a new tenure as Prosecutor Chief of Section?

 

The ex-president criticised the attitude of prosecutors Adina Petrescu and Camelia Sutiman, the two prosecutors who have indicted him. The ex-president did so both on Sunday evening on Romania TV and on Monday on his Facebook account.

Basescu stated on RTV that prosecutors are carrying out the orders of National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutors Laura Codruta Kovesi. He once again pointed fingers at the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) too, where Florian Coldea is allegedly ordering who should and should not be arrested.

“Today I know that prosecutor Sutiman says “let’s indict Basescu for frightening Ms. Firea.” Everything has a limit, falsity cannot go on forever. I will defend fair people in difficult situations and I will defend the rule of law in Romania. I wanted to build a rule of law, not one in which two individuals – Kovesi and Codrea – would say who should be arrested for not dancing to their tune. I can no longer remain unbiased concerning several persons. (…) I will not bear for institutions in which I invested enormously to become a mafia state. When they thought they were free, some individuals who hold incredibly important information resorted to mafia-style actions. I’ll stop them, irrespective of costs. A limit in the functioning of the rule of law has been crossed,” Traian Basescu added.

On Monday, he nuanced his position somewhat and claimed, in a posting on Facebook, that the Prosecutor General’s Office should remain aloof from political games and that his indictment can be a launching pad for one of the prosecutors in the sense of being promoted to a leadership position within the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Obviously, it’s not a political file. I’m finding out from a television station that prosecutors Adina Petrescu and Camelia Sutiman (who is in continuous consultation with Mihalache) have approved my indictment because Ms. Firea felt threatened and was scared by my statements about her husband, the mayor of Voluntari,” Traian Basescu started his posting on Facebook.

He also mentioned the moments in which, according to his statements, Victor Ponta, Crin Antonescu and Gabriela Firea “were mobilising and instigating tens of thousands of people to shout ‘Basescu behind bars’ at stadium rallies.”

The ex-president ironically asked how come that was not seen as uttering threats.

“Certainly, when Ponta and Antonescu, accompanied by Ms. Firea, were mobilising and instigating tens of thousands of people to shout on stadiums ‘Basescu behind bars’ that was no threat, it was caress. Just as it was when Ms. Firea was deceitfully accusing my daughter of carrying out an illegal transaction.”

“Where were prosecutors Adina Petrescu and Camelia Sutiman when these threats were uttered against me and my family? After all, what wouldn’t Ms. Camelia Sutiman do for a new tenure as Prosecutor Chief of Section… I have the conviction that the Prosecutor General’s Office should remain aloof from political games,” Traian Basescu wrote on his Facebook page.

He concluded his message by stating that the Prosecutor General’s Office should solve the Revolution Case and the Miners’ Riots Case.

“I understand that the Prosecutor General’s Office has solved the major cases concerning the Revolution and the miners’ riots, so the time has come to investigate political statements,” the ex-president concluded.

 

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