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May 17, 2022
JUSTICE

Judiciary Commission issues favourable report on prosecutors’ request to have Eugen Bejinariu’s immunity lifted

*Lower Chamber’s plenum to vote on DNA request next Monday

 

On Monday, the Lower Chamber’s Judiciary Commission issued a favourable report on the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors’ request to have the immunity of MP Eugen Bejinariu lifted. The report was adopted with 11 votes in favour, 5 against and 2 abstentions.

“The result is the following: 11 colleagues voted in favour of the lifting of immunity, five voted against and there were two abstentions. Overall, 19 ballots were cast,” Judiciary Commission Deputy Chairman Ciprian Nica said.

When leaving the Judiciary Commission, Eugen Bejinariu said he asked his colleagues “to look at the evidence presented and to vote in line with their consciences.”

DNA wants to criminally prosecute former Government Secretary General Eugen Bejinariu, who is currently Lower Chamber MP, for malfeasance in office in the ‘Microsoft Case.’

The prosecutors’ request for the Lower Chamber to lift the immunity of MP Eugen Bejinariu, former minister for the coordination of the Government’s General Secretariat (2003-2004), was sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the High Court’s Prosecutor’s Office, who in turn sent it to the Lower Chamber.

Anticorruption prosecutors are accusing Eugen Bejinariu of committing malfeasance in office, recurrent offence, during his ministerial stint, guilty act through which the civil servant obtained undue benefits for himself or for others.

“Bejinariu Eugen carried out the following actions: He initiated and supported two draft Government decisions (no.1473/11.12.2013 and no.470/01.04.2004) that approved the signing, with Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH, of a commercial licencing contract for Microsoft products. Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ capacity as sole distributor of these products was falsely invoked in order to favour this company by avoiding to hold a public tender. He initiated and supported the draft government decision no.1778/21.10.2014, which approved the extension of the commercial licencing contract that the Romanian Government and Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH had signed on 15.04,2014, to include Microsoft educational products, without there being a grounded necessity. He signed the commercial licencing contract and the addendum to it, knowing that procurement from a single source was not justified,” reads the DNA request.

Prosecutors claim that a total damage of USD 67 million was thus caused.

Attached to the filed request were the DNA prosecutors’ report as well as a copy of the case file (28 volumes).

Last Thursday, Eugen Bejinariu was present at the Judiciary Commission to study his case file. At the end of that process, he said he did not commit any malfeasance in office and that, in his capacity as delegated minister for the Government’s General Secretariat, he was imperatively tasked with signing the contract on Microsoft licences for schools.

“I saw in the prosecutors’ report that there is an accusation that I allegedly committed a work-related offence. In my view, I did not commit any malfeasance in office, in the sense of tabling draft government decisions, because it was my prerogative or any other minister’s prerogative. I was not the only one undersigned, in fact, I counter-signed a decision that was eventually approved in the Government’s meeting,” Bejinariu said.

The PSD MP also stated that as Secretary General he was “imperatively tasked with signing the contract.” “I, in my capacity as the Government’s Secretary General, was imperatively tasked, through a Government decision, with signing this contract and its annex. The contract is an integral part of the Government decision published in the Official Journal. I did not modify the contract’s provisions in any way,” Bejinariu added.

Judiciary Commission reports are adopted by a majority of its members, with secret ballots.

The Commission’s report is consultative. The vote on whether to lift the PSD MP’s immunity or not will take place within the Lower Chamber’s plenum. Lower Chamber lawmakers, most of whom are currently campaigning, were not present in sufficient numbers at the vote and the plenum meeting was suspended. The meeting will resume next Monday, at 3 p.m.

 

PNL asks Eugen Bejinariu to resign

 

The National Liberal Party is asking PSD MP Eugen Bejinariu to resign, claiming that PSD is planning to use the same parliamentary tactic of blocking the Lower Chamber’s vote by preventing the meeting’s quorum from being reached, News.ro informs.

“We expect the PSD-ALDE majority to adopt the same perfidious attitude of contempt toward the idea of equality before the law and to attempt to postpone the decision in PSD MP Eugen Bejinariu’s case until after the December 11th parliamentary elections. PSD-ALDE fear the Romanians’ vote, but not as much as to allow the prosecution bodies to continue their probe,” PNL points out in a communique.

In fact, the Liberals state that, if able to do so after the December 11th elections, the Social Democrats will do everything in their power to “put in the stocks” any prosecutor’s office that handles corruption cases.

PNL points out that no citizen should be above the law, since political protection before the judiciary affects the normal functioning of the rule of law, and a person’s innocence or guilt is to be decided exclusively by the courts, not by Parliament.

“We warn that only PSD-ALDE can ensure the meeting’s quorum, since they hold the parliamentary majority needed, and for this reason they have to take responsibility for meeting the conditions necessary for a normal vote or for protecting another PSD member from the judiciary,” the communique adds.

 

PSD Secretary General: Bejinariu should resign from current and future Parliament

 

PSD Secretary General Marian Neacsu has asked PSD Lower Chamber lawmaker Eugen Bejinariu to resign from Parliament, adding that he has already discussed this with his colleague but the latter “is not convinced this is a good gesture for him.”

“We are firmly asking our colleague to file his resignation,” Marian Neacsu announced.

He pointed out that he has already talked with Eugen Bejinariu about this.

“So far he is not convinced this would be a good gesture for him. I believe it is his duty toward the party to do this and we will continue to ask him, with all our determination, to resign,” Neacsu added.

He pointed out that, “unfortunately,” Bejinariu is PSD’s candidate, opening the party’s list for the Lower Chamber in Suceava.

“He won’t benefit from any kind of umbrella from PSD. We hope that this resignation will remain in force for the future mandate too. (…) We are asking him to resign from the Lower Chamber and, if he wins another mandate – and this seems very likely –, to resign from the future legislature too,” Neacsu concluded.

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