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May 12, 2021

LaborMin Vasilescu in court; DNA challenges judge and lawyers challenge prosecutor

Minister of Labor and Social Justice Lia Olguta Vasilescu arrived on Tuesday morning at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, where a National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) appeal was to be judged on the decision of the Bucharest Court to send prosecutors the file in which she is charged with corruption.

Olguta Vasilescu’s lawyer Alexandru Chiciu stated that the trial was suspended, after the prosecutors didn’t want to support the appeal, on grounds that the Bucharest Court of Appeal doesn’t have the authority to rule on this case. In the DNA representative’s opinion, the case should have been sent to the High Court of Justice and Cassation, because Deputy Olguta Vasilescu became a minister.

Chiciu added that the judge didn’t agree with the DNA request and the prosecutor of the meeting decided to challenge the magistrate.

From the other side, the lawyers also challenged the prosecutor, therefore the trial was suspended.

According to the DNA, in 2012, on the occasion of the campaign for the election of the Mayor of Craiova, several businessmen were determined by candidate Lia Olguta Vasilescu, personally or through some persons in her campaign team to carry out different sponsorships, the defendant using, in exchange for this benefits the influence she had over the businessmen, as she was at that time the Deputy Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) organization in the county.

Moreover, Olguta Vasilescu is charged of influence peddling, in order to gain from another businessman election materials worth 44,241 Euros, containing her image and electoral campaign slogans. The materials in question were made by a company based on a fictitious contract, concluded with the businessman’s company.

Furthermore, the anticorruption prosecutors say that the Mayor of Craiova claimed and received in 2014, as bribe the overall amount of 568,291.37 lei, for and through a non-profit association, from several businessmen who had ongoing contracts with the City Hall, the money being received in connection with fulfilling some acts under her office duties.

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