President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen have definitively lost their home in central Sibiu, after the Pitesti Court of Appeals irrevocably rejected their appeal to annul the decision of the Brasov Court of Appeals.
Pitesti Court of Appeals magistrates rejected, on Wednesday afternoon, Klaus and Carmen Iohannis’s appeal to annul the Brasov Court of Appeals decision that saw them lose a home in central Sibiu.
Moreover, the two must cover the court expenses incurred by several respondents.
“Rejects the appeal for annulment. Forces the claimant to cover the court expenses incurred by respondent Antonescu Elisabeta (RON 1,700) and respondents Oarga Ioan, Oarga Ioan Adrian, Oarga Steluta Ancuta (RON 1,700). Irrevocable. Pronounced in public meeting today, 22.02.2017,” reads the Pitesti Court of Appeals ruling published on Wednesday afternoon on the Arges County courts’ web portal.
On February 15, the Pitesti Court of Appeals postponed for February 22 its decision in the trial in which the Iohannis family challenged the Brasov Court of Appeals decision that saw them lose their home in downtown Sibiu.
On January 18, the presidential family’s lawyer asked for the postponement or suspension of the case until the situation of Georgeta Lazurca’s heirs was clarified, however the magistrates rejected the request.
The trial, which started in June 2016 in Pitesti, was postponed three times.
The last postponement was decided on 7 December 2016. Back then, the panel of judges ruled in favour of postponement in order for the president’s wife to file her mother’s (Georgeta Lazurca’s) death certificate in order to prove that she is her heir.
On 28 September 2016, the lawyers of the parties to the trial had a dispute over the validity of some paperwork. In these conditions, the lawyers asked the court to compare two specimens of Rodica Bastea’s signature, one from her legal assistance contract and one from another document filed to the dossier.
The first court hearing in this trial took place on 22 June 2016, at the Pitesti Court of Appeals, when the decision was taken to postpone the case for September 28.
President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen Iohannis no longer own the house located in central Sibiu, after the Sibiu County Land Register Office admitted the Public Finances Administration’s request to expunge their ownership rights over it.
Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen Iohannis lost their home, which houses a bank office, in November 2015, following a Brasov Court of Appeals decision adopted at the end of a trial that lasted more than 16 years.
In April 2016, the Presidency announced that Iohannis would immediately return the sums received as payment based on the tenancy contract, following the ruling of the Brasov Court of Appeals.
“Mr Klaus Iohannis has taken note of the rectification of land register no.9331 Sibiu, in the sense of the expungement of ownership rights over the building that was the subject of the civil ruling issued by the Brasov Court of Appeals. In this juridical context, Mr Iohannis fully respects the judiciary’s decision and, undoubtedly, will immediately return the sums that were transferred to him based on the tenancy contract, starting on the date on which the Brasov Court of Appeals issued its civil ruling,” the Presidency announced back then.
A building with a long history of litigations
Building no.29, located on Nicolae Balcescu street in central Sibiu, was owned by Maria and Eliseu Ghenea. After their death, the building entered the state’s property. The Iohannis family bought half of it in early June 1999.
In 1997, the building was bought by its tenants.
In 1999, the contracts on whose basis the tenants bought the house were annulled in court, at a request filed by the son of Nicolae Bastea. The latter was the grandson of the Gheneas.
Subsequently, the current president’s family bought the share of the building owned by Nicolae Bastea’s heirs and the building entered its ownership.
The former tenants asked the court to annul the contracts on whose basis the Iohannis family got possession of the building, challenging Nicolae Bastea’s capacity as lawful heir.
Last year, Rise Project published an investigation per which Romanian President Klaus Iohannis earned approximately EUR 320,000 from Raiffeisen Bank, from 2001 to 2015, the sum representing the rent that the bank paid for a part of the building it rented.
PSD’s Dragnea on Pitesti Court of Appeal decision in President Iohannis case: Not precisely a pleasant situation
Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that the decision of the Pitesti Court of Appeal in the lawsuit regarding the house in Sibiu of President Klaus Iohannis isn’t “precisely a pleasant situation” for the head of state.
“It’s not a precisely pleasant situation for the President, it’s a decision of the court. I am concerned by something else: what happens to that banking institution which is a tenant in that house. That is what interests me. God forbid they be left on the streets, now that the status of the estate is changing. What does the City Hall (of Sibiu -e.n.) do – will it call an auction or not? That is what concerns me, for the business environment,” Liviu Dragnea stated at the Parliament Palace.