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March 29, 2023

Chief corruption prosecutor asks Senate to allow prosecution of Senator Oprea for culpable homicide

Chief of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi has asked the Senate to approve a criminal investigation of Gabriel Oprea (photo), senator and former interior minister, for a new charge of culpable homicide in the death of police officer Bogdan Gigina in October 2015.

“In accordance with the relevant legal and constitutional provisions, the DNA chief prosecutor has submitted to the Prosecutor General the case report for the Senate to be notified that there is a request for the criminal prosecution of Gabriel Oprea, senator and former deputy prime minister for national security and interior minister, for the commission of culpable homicide during his ministerial tenure,” says DNA.

The prosecutors say that on October 20, 2015, around 19:00hrs, police agent Bogdan Gigina was involved in a traffic collision that left him with a hemorrhaging head injury from head and face trauma that caused his death.

“At the time of the accident, victim Bogdan Gigina was part of a motorcade accompanying minister Oprea. The motorcade, provided by the Highway Police Brigade with the Bucharest City General Police Directorate was made up of a road motorcyclist (victim Gigina) and a crew of one police officer and one police agent driving a motor vehicle of the Highway Police. The motorcade was clearing the way for the vehicle carrying Minister Gabriel Oprea. At the time of the accident, Minister Oprea was being driven to his residence in the Cotroceni Quarter,” says DNA.

Investigators say proof so far shows consistent indications that, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea ordered for self round-the-clock accompanying by a team of Highway Police officers made up of one motor vehicle of the Highway Police (one agent and one officer) and a motorcycle of the Highway Police, all in violation of the legal provisions regulating the accompanying of dignitaries,.

“The said workers were part of the staff of a special department of the Highway Brigade of DGPMB that provides accompanying services for official motorcades. Some workers were designated exclusively to accompany the minister in a round-the-clock structure that entailed simultaneous provision of three police staff for each position (two replacements and one alternate). The staff would be at the minister’s disposal round the clock, waiting for him after each trip very near to the destination. Analysis of documents attesting to the daily composition of the accompanying missions and trips reveals that Oprea would make about five daily trips when he would be accompanied by police motorcades,” the prosecutors conclude.

DNA says the number of such missions is nearly three times higher than the similar missions conducted for the accompanying of Romania’s President and almost two times higher than the missions for the prime minister, all dignitaries entitled to round-the-clock accompanying under the legislation in force.

“Each trip would also entail the reassignment of a significant number of police agents from their usual positions to the trails followed by the dignitary, which consequently disturbs traffic surveillance, guidance and control. For instance, on October 20, 2015, when the accident occurred, the motorcade was made up of 27 police staff assigned to the intersections on the minister’s route. The intersections were not assigned according to traffic load, and the guiding maneuvers were not intended to optimise traffic, but to curtail the time of the minister’s time on the road,” says DNA.

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