Bucharest Court decided on Thursday to return to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), for the second time, the file in which the Craiova Mayor, Lia Olguta Vasilescu, is accused of corruption. But the decision is not final and it can be challenged by the prosecutors at the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
Bucharest Court analyzed for the second time the requests and the exceptions raised by the Craiova Mayor, Lia Olguta Vasilescu, in the file in which she is accused of corruption.
Initially, on October 7, a preliminary chamber judge of the Bucharest Court found that the indictment prepared by DNA in this file contains irregularities. The judge has established as void several evidences gathered by prosecutors, namely the statements of three witnesses in front of the judicial police officers, because they weren’t empowered by the case prosecutor to perform acts of prosecution, as well as another statement made by the denouncer Ionut Parvulescu. Judges have also decided then that Olguta Vasilescu’s right of defense was infringed.
Later, DNA submitted an appeal that was approved by the Bucharest Court of Appeal, which decided that Bucharest Court has to perform a second judgment of the requests and exceptions raised by Olguta Vasilescu and the other defendants.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu was sent to judgement on July 19, being accused of bribery (four offenses), using her authority or influence to obtain money, goods or other undue benefits (two offenses) and money laundry (two offenses).
In the same file, Radu Cosmin Preda, former public manager of Craiova was referred to the Court for complicity in bribery (two offenses) and money laundry, together with Elena Daniela Popescu, who was the representative of a non-profit association at the time of the deeds, for complicity in bribery and money laundering.
According to DNA, in 2012, on the occasion of the electoral campaign for the elections of the Craiova Mayor, several businessmen were determined by the candidate Lia Olguta Vasilescu, personally or through persons from inside the campaign team, to perform various sponsorships, the defendant using her influence on those businessmen as the Vice President of the PSD county organization, to obtain these benefits.
Olguta Vasilescu is also accused of using her influence to obtain electoral materials amounting EUR 44,241, containing her image, and electoral slogans, from another businessman. The materials in question were made by a company based on a fictive contract concluded with the businessman’s company.
At the same time, the anticorruption prosecutors state that in 2014, the Craiova Mayor claimed and received the total amount of RON 568,291.37 as bribe, for and through a non-profit association, from different businessmen who had ongoing contracts with the Citi Hall, and that the money were received for performing certain acts that were included into the work duties.
Vasilescu’s reaction after the file was resent to DNA: It’s a fake
Craiova Mayor, Lia Olguta Vasilescu, reacted after Bucharest Court decided on Thursday to resend the file to DNA for the second time. Lia Olguta Vasilescu said, in a telephone intervention on Antena 3, that the file is a “fake”.
“(…) The denouncers were forced to make statements that are not true. They are simply forced to say what prosecutors want to hear and write in these statements. Besides, those witnesses’ statements were taken in suspicious circumstances, at the premises of an institution. I see it’s a story that the Court considered from the first term. The Court realized from the first term that these evidences are illegal; besides, my right of defense was infringed. I couldn’t see my file for 20 days. Therefore, basically, I couldn’t defend myself. (…) The file is a fake from the beginning to the end, and you can see it blows up at the Court. I believe this is what we have to take into account, first of all. I am glad that it’s already the sixth court that clearly sees what happened in this file”, stated the Craiova Mayor for Antena 3.