The magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) rejected on Monday the proposal made by the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) to issue a warrant for the preventive arrest of businessman Sebastian Ghita, in the case in which he is accused of giving a house to the former Ploiesti Mayor, Iulian Badescu, in exchange of financing the basketball team Asesoft Ploiesti from the local budget.
“It rejects the proposal for the preventive arrestment submitted by the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice – National Anticorruption Directorate regarding the defendant Ghita Aurelian Sebastian. Court costs paid in advance by the state will have to be borne by him. The partial fee of the defender appointed ex officio for the defendant Ghita Sebastian Aurelian, amounting RON 35, will be paid from the Justice Ministry’s budget” states the decision ruled on Monday by the magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
The decision is not final; it can be subject to appeal within 48 hours since communicated.
Three arrestment warrants have been issued in absentia on Ghita’s name until now – one in the case related to the British former PM Tony Blair to Romania, in which the former PM Victor Pontlta is also prosecuted, another one in the corruption case in which the former deputy is prosecuted for influence peddling, money laundering and forming an organized criminal group, and the third one in the case in which he is judged for corruption deeds together with former heads of the Prahova Prosecution Office and Police. The fifth request for issuing an arrestment warrant in absentia on Ghita’s name will be discussed on June 15 by the Prahova Court in the case of Hidro Prahova, in which he is investigated for corruption deeds together with Victor Ponta’s brother-in-law, Iulian Hertanu, with the former President of the Prahova County Council, Mircea Cosma, and with his son, the former PSD MP Vlad Cosma.
On July 2015, DNA prosecutors sent Sebastian Ghita and Iulian Badescu to judgment accusing them of giving, respectively receiving bribe, abuse of office and money laundering.
According to DNA, in the year of 2013, Iulian Badescu, as the Ploiesti Mayor and main credit release authority, by the breach of the law, being instigated by Sebastian Ghita, granted an additional non-refundable financing of RON 1,500,000 from the local budget to the sports club Asesoft Ploiesti, supported by the latter. In exchange of allotting this financing, Iulian Badescu asked and received from Sebastian Ghita, through a company controlled by the businessman, a living house in Ploiesti, in value of RON 1,041,600, amount from which Badescu personally paid only RON 124,000.
Businessman Sebastian Ghita – who was captured in Belgrade in the night of April 13 to 14 and later placed into custody – was released on bail on May 26, in compliance with a decision of the Serbian Supreme Court, after he paid a bail of EUR 200,000. Ghita’s passport was retained and he was banned to leave Belgrade.
The businessman is expecting a decision on the extradition request submitted by the Romanian authorities. When captured by the Serbian authorities, Ghita had Slovenian driving license and ID card and he was with his brother. On May 19, Ghita was heard by the Belgrade Supreme Court following the extradition request submitted by the Romanian authorities, arguing that he opposes the extradition and invoking political persecution. His lawyer asked the replacement of the detention with home arrest.