Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc has ordered the setting up of a Defence Ministry commission that would analyse whether the legal conditions were met when General (ret.) Gabriel Oprea (photo) was promoted from the rank of colonel to that of brigadier general.
“As a result of the notifications and freedom of information requests filed by journalists in what concerns the issue whether legal conditions were met when General (ret.) Gabriel Oprea was promoted from the rank of colonel to that of brigadier general, the Defence Ministry has ordered the setting up of a Defence Ministry commission that would analyse the aspects pointed out. The results of this analysis will be promptly presented to the mass-media and the public opinion,” reads a Defence Ministry communique issued on Tuesday.
Gabriel Oprea received awards from two presidents: Order of the Star of Romania, Knight rank, from Emil Constantinescu in 2000; Order of Faithful Service, Knight rank, from Ion Iliescu in 2002. In October 2009, President Traian Basescu promoted him through decree, Gabriel Oprea becoming a four-star retired general.
Gabriel Oprea took over his first governmental office in 2001, being appointed secretary of state and Chairman of the National Administration of State Reserves in the Nastase Government. He held that office until 2002. Next year, he returned to the Government as Delegated Minister for Public Administration, an office he held for another year. In 2008, he was Interior Minister for 20 days, in the PSD-PNL Government. After that ruling coalition fell apart, Gabriel Oprea backed PDL, becoming Interior Minister in 2009-2012, as member of the Emil Boc Government and Mihai Razvan Ungureanu Government. He owed that position to President Traian Basescu too, who “reassessed” him after he had previously said he was “part of Adrian Nastase’s personal mafia.” At the time of the PDL Government, Oprea created a political party – the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR), recruiting MPs from all other political parties. With the adoption of the censure motion in 2012, a motion backed by UNPR, Gabriel Oprea left the Government but his party backed USL in Parliament.
Senate takes note of Gabriel Oprea’s resignation
On Tuesday, Senators took note of Senator Gabriel Oprea’s resignation, in the absence of the former Deputy Premier and Interior Minister the lifting of whose immunity had been requested by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in order to start criminally prosecuting him for involuntary manslaughter in the case concerning the death of police officer Bogdan Gigina.
“The Senate takes note of the cessation, through resignation, of the tenure of Senator Gabriel Oprea, starting on October 1, and declares vacant the seat of Senator elected in Bucharest constituency no.42, uninominal college no.3,” reads the Senate decision that will be published in the Official Journal.
After it is published in the Official Journal, the DNA can once again request the start of the criminal prosecution, but this time President Klaus Iohannis will be the one called upon to approve it.
The decision to declare the seat vacant was adopted with 80 votes in favour.