DNA Head Kovesi requests notification of President regarding criminal prosecution of Gabriel Oprea

Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi, requested the notification of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in order to consent to the criminal prosecution of Gabriel Oprea, the former Deputy Prime Minister for the National Security and Minister of Interior Ministry, in the case regarding the death of officer Bogdan Gigina.

According to a Wednesday release of the DNA, the request was sent in accordance with the legal and constitutional provisions, taking into account the ceasing, through resignation, of Gabriel Oprea’s tenure as Senator, starting 1 October 2016.

The release also points out that according to the legal provisions in force, the start of criminal prosecution is conditioned to obtaining approval from the President of Romania for persons who occupy or have occupied ministerial positions, for criminal acts done during their tenure as ministers, and who aren’t occupying the position of deputy or senator, at the date of the notification.

Gabriel Oprea submitted his resignation on 26 September from the position of Senator. Before that, on 19 September, senators voted against the DNA request regarding the prosecution of the former minister for culpable homicide in the case of policeman Bogdan Gigina’s death.

In this case, the prosecutors pointed out that on the night of night 20 October 2015, around 19:00 hrs, police agent Bogdan Gigina was involved in a car accident, following which he suffered a cranio-cerebral hemorrhage, resulting from a cranio-cerebral and facial trauma with skull fracture, which caused his death.

“At the moment of the accident, the victim, Bogdan Gigina, was part of the motorcade which accompanied Minister Oprea. That motorcade, ensured by the Traffic Police Brigade of the Bucharest City General Police Directorate (DGPMB) 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 Traffic Police Brigade. 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 neighborhood,” says the DNA.

The investigators mentioned that the collected evidence reveals reasonable indications that, by breaking legal provisions which regulate the dignitaries’ escort, Interior Minister Oprea ordered, for himself, to benefit from the round-the-clock road escort, and said escorts be made up both of a Traffic Police Brigade vehicle (an agent and a traffic police officer) and a motorcycle belonging to the Traffic Police Brigade.

“The analysis of documents which attest the composition of the daily escorting missions and trips reveals that Minister Oprea was making about five daily trips where he would be accompanied by police motorcades,” the prosecutors concluded.

The DNA mentioned that the total number of missions is approximately three times higher than the ones made in the same period for the escort of the Romania’s President and almost two times higher than the one corresponding to the Prime Minister, dignitaries entitled to round-the-clock escort under the legislation in force.

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