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December 1, 2020

Supreme court orders Sebastian Ghita under arrest in abstentia

The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Thursday ordered the arrest in absentia of former deputy Sebastian Ghita, who skipped two appearances under a supervised bail. The decision is not final but is enforceable.

The Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the request of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to replace the supervised bail with pre-trial arrest, after the former MP broke the terms of the court supervision ordered in the case where he has been indicted alongside several police and prosecution heads.

A DNA prosecutor told the court panel that Sebastian Ghita skipped two appearances at the Prahova Police County Inspectorate and was nowhere to be found, at home, or at other locations.

“Sebastian Ghita acted in bad faith and his fleeing was premeditated. Evidence and clues show that he is a fugitive in hiding, attempting to evade trial. Although he was being supervised by special troops, he managed to escape. His disappearance was premeditated, as prove the frequent recordings broadcast by the Romania TV station under his control, whereby Sebastian Ghita is trying to shift the blame on others. We are asking you to issue an arrest warrant in absentia on the name of Sebastian Ghita, for an all-points bulletin to be issued for him,” the prosecutor said.

On the other hand, Sebastian Ghita’s lawyer admitted that the former MP had violated the terms of the supervised bail, but argued that there is no evidence that he has left the country.

On December 27 a Supreme Court panel rejected an initial DNA request to arrest Sebastian Ghita in absentia for contempt, but kept in place the ban on his leaving Romania.

Ghita was the last time at the seat of the Prahova Police County Inspectorate on December 19, to sign the supervised bail papers. He was next summoned to report on December 21 to the Ploiesti DNA headquarters in the Ponta-Blair case, but only his lawyers made it there.

The authorities sought Ghita at his home and at several locations he used to go to, but he was nowhere to be found, sources close to the investigation said.

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