On Monday, the magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) have adjourned taking a decision in the “Gala Bute” Case, in which prosecutor demanded imprisonment oriented to the maximum limit for Elena Udrea, for March 28. Initially, the magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice announced that they will issue a decision in this respect on Monday, March 13, but the solution has been adjourned for March 28.
The court’s decision will not be final.
At the last hearing, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors demanded imprisonment oriented to the maximum limit for the former Tourism Minister, Elena Udrea, in the “Gala Bute” Case in which she is accused of abuse of office and bribery.
“This case has been built around Elena Udrea. The investigation lasted three years in this case, but I have never been called. On February 2, people have been picked up by the masked guys and taken to hearings in the Gala Bute case. I am sure all those who were called at DNA were afraid. Some of them chose to do what they were expected to do, what they thought that will save them. They were scared and threatened to make statements. My hope is that at least a part of the public judgments on me have disappeared. Prosecutors say that I’ve built a pyramidal system formed by close people. But I didn’t bring Nastasia in the ministry. I hired Lungu without knowing him, he was recommended to me by the party’s spokesman. I knew only Topoliceanu. I didn’t appoint anybody to bring me money for bribery. The 10 percent practice was a general one. I knew that businessmen are trying to reach the officials’ entourage to benefit from contracts. I preferred to agree with them. I told them if they find out about such practices, they shouldn’t tell me, but announce DNA. In the confrontation with Gardean, he claims that he didn’t say that the money bag was for me. I don’t believe that the money was for Obreja, but for Bute. Bute claimed for a long time that he didn’t receive his entire fee”, Elena Udrea claimed on March 1, in the last word addressed to the magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
When she came out of the Supreme Court, the former Tourism Minister said that she forgave her whistleblowers and that the DNA Chief-Prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi and the First Deputy Director of SRI, Florian Coldea, wanted to “get her out of the game”.
“It’s simple, Mrs. Kovesi and Mr. Coldea. This case was started two days after I made the denunciation. I made the denunciation on Friday, and the requests for the remand started to be submitted against me on Tuesday, five days after this. Probably that the interest of getting certain politicians out of the game is to eliminate those people who knew things about them, on the one hand, while on the other hand, is to remove those who never listened their orders” Elena Udrea stated.
Prosecutors have also demanded imprisonment for the former Minister Ion Ariton, as well as for the former President of the Boxing Federation, Rudel Obreja, Tudor Breazu and Elena Udrea’s former adviser Stefan Lungu.
“One of the lawyers says that the indictment is messed up. It is so. He left with seven charges against me. I wasn’t the target. The target were Udrea and Basescu. I could feel it on myself, being arrested and being asked, metaphorically speaking, by «birdies», who whispered me to make denunciations. Those seven charges are not in the file anymore. I was brought to DNA for three years, I appeared in Media like a bear, I was the guilty in charge, it affected my life. Today I am investigated for totally different offenses which are not related to Gala Bute anymore. Please have indulgence, it’s about my life and my children’s lives. I look at you hoping that you will issue a correct decision. I don’t which you to be in my place. Some officials scoff at people. You cannot say I made tax evasion with people whom I didn’t know. As for the complicity in bribery, I was arrested and I was going to the speaker, and I couldn’t understand how comes that I am an accomplice in bribery. I wasn’t in the entourage of the peoples in this case. I couldn’t contribute to any bribery, it’s a breach of logic”, stated the former President of the Romanian Boxing Federation, Rudel Obreja, in front of the court.
Former Minister Ion Ariton said, in front of the judges of the Supreme Court, that the sponsorships were correctly made.
“All the sponsorships were made with FRB. I am surprised that those contracts are suspected to have been concluded with a private company. The sponsorship was correctly made. I am coming in front of the court since two years, I requested to my colleagues to raise my immunity to be able to come and clarify things. I am glad, as Udrea is, too, for being judged by ladies”, Ion Ariton also stated.
As for Ghoerghe Nastasia, former Secretary General in the Ministry of Regional Development (MDRT), Ana Maria Topoliceanu and Dragos Botoroaga, all of them making an agreement of admitting their guilt, prosecutors requested their sentences to be reduced by one-third.
On April 21, 2015, Elena Udrea was sent to judgment in the “Gala Bute” case, in which she is accused of abuse of office related to organizing the homonymous event by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, respectively of bribery in relation to financing several contract by the same ministry.
Former Minister Ion Ariton, former President of the Romanian Boxing Federation, Rudel Obreja, Tudor Breazu, Elena Udrea’s former adviser Stefan Lungu, former Secretary General in MDRT Gheorghe Nastasia, former Manager of the National Investment Company Ana Maria Topoliceanu, and Dragos Botoroaga, were also sent to judgment along Elena Udrea.