JUSTICE

Senate to vote on September 19 on DNA request to prosecute Senator Oprea

The Senate’s Standing Bureau has considered on Monday a request from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for the commencement of criminal prosecution of Senator Gabriel Oprea, a former interior minister standing accused of culpable homicide in the death of police agent Bogdan Gigina.

The Standing Bureau forwarded the request to the Judiciary Committee for an opinion, which will be submitted to a plenary session of the Senate, which is entitled to approve or deny the request.

The Commission was expected to open the 18 tomes of the case file in which the former Deputy Premier is accused of culpable homicide at 4 p.m. Independent Senator Oprea has one week to study his case file, then the Judiciary Commission will draft a report on Tuesday, September 13. The report will be put up for vote within the plenary meeting on Monday, September 19.

“The Standing Bureau took note of the letter that the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office sent, a letter asking us to formulate, in case file 905/P/2015, a request to prosecute Senator Gabriel Oprea, former Deputy Premier, and the decision taken was to send the case file to the Judiciary Commission. There will be a five-day period for a first assessment, and next Monday we will resume the debate and the report on this case file will probably be presented several days later,” Senate Deputy Speaker Ioan Chelaru (PSD) stated after the Standing Bureau meeting.

Catalin Boboc, Chairman of the Judiciary Commission, pointed out that Oprea will be heard on Tuesday, September 13.

“Today I propose the unsealing of the case file at 4 p.m., and, starting on Tuesday, Gabriel Oprea can read his case file. I believe a week of study is sufficient. Next Tuesday, I hope, he will be heard within the Senate’s Judiciary Commission, and the members of the commission will draft a report that will be forwarded to the Standing Bureau,” he pointed out.

DNA chief Laura Codruta Kovesi on Thursday requested that the Senate be notified about the commencement of the criminal prosecution of Oprea for culpable homicide in the death of Gigina.

DNA says evidence produced so far gives reasonable indications that a new criminal offence has been committed, besides previous four that are already under investigation.

The prosecutors say that on October 20, 2015, around 7 p.m., police agent Bogdan Gigina was involved in a traffic collision that left him with a haemorrhaging head injury and facial 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 police motorcycle (driven by victim Gigina) and a police unit made up of one police officer and one police agent driving a motor vehicle of the Highway Police. The motorcade was opening 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 the DNA.

Investigators say the body of evidence so far shows consistent indications that Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea ordered a round-the-clock police detail 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 police details for dignitaries.

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