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Bucharest
February 25, 2021
JUSTICE

Last hearing in the “Gala Bute” case. DNA requires Elena Udrea’s sentencing to imprisonment oriented to the maximum. Udrea: I don’t think I can be sentenced for false denunciations

The prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) required on Wednesday, at the last hearing in the “Gala Bute” case, former Minister Elena Udrea’s sentencing to imprisonment oriented to the maximum limit provided for the deeds of which she is accused, namely bribery, abuse of office and attempt of using false documents or statements to obtain undue EU funds.

Before the last hearing in this case, Elena Udrea stated that she expects to be acquitted, because she doesn’t think she can be convicted for false denunciations.

The magistrate also requested imprisonment for the former EcoMin Ion Ariton.

After prosecutor said what the sentence should be for each defendant, related to the deeds of which they are accused in the “Gala Bute” case, the court listened to the lawyers’ pleadings, and the defendants had the last word, to say if they are guilty or innocent and to make the last statements on the charges brought by the DNA prosecutors.

The court stayed the ruling, and it will announce when it will give the decision I the “Gala Bute” case. The court’s decision will not be final, and it can be challenged by the defendants and prosecutors.

 

 Felix Tataru, witness in the “Gala Bute” case: In April, 2011, I concluded a contract with PDL Bucharest, signed by Udrea, for an advertising campaign, EUR 150,000 being paid

 

The former Minister of the Regional Development Elena Udrea stated, when entering the Supreme Court, that she expects to be acquitted, because she doesn’t think that she can be convicted for false denunciations, unproved by anything before the court for two years.

On Wednesday, at the last hearing in the “Gala Bute” case, the judges of the Supreme Court also heard the strategist Felix Tataru, who stated in the witness statement that in April, 2011, his company concluded a contract with PDL Bucharest, signed by Udrea, for an advertising campaign, EUR 100,000 being paid in advance and EUR 50,000 being paid at the end of the campaign. The DNA prosecutor said that there is a significant difference between the documents submitted by Felix Tataru and those from PDL Bucharest, where the earnest for the contractual services is of EUR 205,000.

Felix Tataru, who was a consultant in the electoral campaigns of Klaus Iohannis and Traian Basescu, told to the judges that he maintains his statements made in the prosecution stage of the “Gala Bute” case, mentioning that he currently is a shareholder in several companies and a manager of the company called GMP Advertising SRL.

As for the contract concluded with PDL Bucharest, Felix Tataru stated that it was signed in April, 2011, by Elena Udrea and him. He mentioned that for the services provided in the contract, an earnest of EUR 100,000 has been paid, and other EUR 50,000 had to be paid at the end of the contract, in June, 2011, and that all the payments have been performed by bank transfer.

“There was a discussion with Elena Udrea at the beginning of the contract, on the budget allocated to the services to be performed. (…) The advertising campaign lasted less than it was planned, and at a specific time, the amount of EUR 50,000 still had to be paid. (…) Initially, I didn’t receive the money, and I couldn’t talk to Elena Udrea about this payment. (…) In my opinion, the advertising campaign didn’t reach its goal, and Udrea was upset, and it was hard for her to accept that she also has to pay this amount of money” stated Felix Tataru in front of the court.

He stated that several payments had to be done, and because he couldn’t receive the due money, he called Tudor Breazu, Stefan Lungu and Ana Maria Topoliceanu, whom he asked to tell to Elena Udrea that there are problems with the suppliers and she must pay the EUR 50,000 provided in the contract.

“Early in December, 2011, since I was pressed by suppliers, I tried to contact Udrea and I sent her a text message in which I said that concluding the contracts for the electoral campaign of PDL depends on the payment of these suppliers, and the payment of the debts to the suppliers is necessary, because 2012 was an electoral year. (…) Elena Udrea answered to my message saying that she is surprised that the payment wasn’t done yet, and the money have been paid in few days since that moment”, Felix Tataru stated.

The DNA prosecutor who attended to the hearing wanted to know if the documents submitted to DNA, namely the contract and its annexes, represent the documents that are also held by PDL Bucharest; Felix Tataru answered that the annexes never returned signed from the beneficiary, and that they were sent to PDL Bucharest on the date of signing the contract, namely April 1, 2011.

In this context, the DNA prosecutor pointed out that there is a significant difference between the documents submitted by Felix Tataru and those submitted by PDL Bucharest. According to the prosecutor, in the Annex 2 submitted by Felix Tataru, the earnest for the contract is EUR 100,000, while the Annex 2 submitted by PDL Bucharest mentions an earnest of EUR 205,000.

One of the judges asked Felix Tataru when the Annex 2 was drawn up, but Felix Tataru said that he doesn’t remember exactly.

“I told you that campaign has ended prematurely, and initially the budget was larger. Our annexes mention only the values of the performance, not the initial budgets. Annex 3 closes the performance of the services, it was drawn up in June, 2011”, Felix Tataru explained.

The “Gala Bute” case was reached the Supreme Court in April, 2015. Former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism Elena Udrea, former Minister of Economy Ion Ariton, former President of the Romanian Boxing Federation Rudel Obreja, former Manager of the National Investment Company Ana Maria Topoliceanu, Elena Udrea’s former personal assistant Tudor Breazu, Elena Udrea’s former adviser Stefan Lungu, former Secretary General in MDRT Gheorghe Nastasia and businessman Dragos Botoroaga, are accused by prosecutors of corruption deeds.

Among the deeds for which they are judged, are: bribery or corrupt payment, abuse of office, complicity to bribery, tax evasion and money laundering.

 

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