The Bucharest Court decided on Tuesday evening to cancel some evidence gathered during the criminal investigation into the case in which Craiova Mayor Lia Olguta Vasilescu is charged with passive bribery, misuse of authority or influence and money laundering. The decision is not final.
“Partially admits the requests and exceptions formulated by defendants PRC, PED and VLO. Notes the irregularity of the act of apprehension in what concerns establishing the object and limits of the trial in what concerns defendant PRC and PED. Notes the relative nullity of the criminal prosecution acts in what concerns defendant VLO, through the violation of her right to defence. Excludes the criminal prosecution acts carried out by judicial police officers without being delegated by the prosecutor handling the case, namely: the statements of witnesses SC, VI, MG and the denunciation (statement) filed by PIC on 07.03.2016. Excludes the piece of evidence that consists of the wiretapping of the conversation between VI and PI on 19.02.2016, the wiretapping having been obtained illegally. The reasoned conclusion will be forwarded to the prosecutor who, within a period of 5 days, has to notify the preliminary chamber judge whether he upholds the indictment directive or whether he wants the case referred back for further investigation,” the Bucharest Court decision reads.
Thus, the court claims that Lia Olguta Vasilescu’s right to defence was not respected, excluding from the case file certain statements and intercepted conversations which judges claim were obtained illegally. The decision is not final and can be challenged at the Bucharest Court of Appeals.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu was indicted for passive bribery, misuse of authority or influence and money laundering.
The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) points out that, in 2014, Lia Olguta Vasilescu allegedly demanded and received the sum of 568,291 Lei from several businessmen to whom the Craiova City Hall had awarded public contracts, the said businessmen accepting “the demands made by defendant Vasilescu Lia Olguta by taking into account the prerogatives she had as a mayor, so as to avoid experiencing difficulties in the proper course of the contracts, in terms of payments made and acceptance upon completion,” the prosecutor’s office shows.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu: “I hoped for fair judges and justice has been served”
Craiova Mayor Lia Olguta Vasilescu considers that “justice has been served” in her case, after the Bucharest Court established that DNA prosecutors allegedly violated her right to defence in the corruption case and noted the relative nullity of the criminal prosecution acts.
“I hoped for fair judges and justice has been served! I don’t know how many of you believed me when I said that the case file had been handled illegally from start to finish, with the clear goal of taking me out of the electoral race, at the height of the elections campaign. I thank those who believed in me and supported me during the most difficult period of my life! And I want to thank Ionut Parvulescu (former director of the Craiova City Hall’s Public Relations and Mass-media Directorate – editor’s note) for the way he behaved; he is now being unfairly attacked by several persons who thought he was the denouncer in my case and he had recorded me. He made a statement, taken by the prosecutor in illegal conditions, as admitted by the court too, and he was in his own turn recorded by another person, also in illegal conditions. During this period, I became convinced that my instinct is not really wrong when it comes to choosing my friends…,” Lia Olguta Vasilescu wrote on Facebook.