Supreme Court’s reasoning in the Gala Bute case: The money obtained from corruption offenses came into the patrimony of Elena Udrea and PDL Bucharest

Judges of the Supreme Court explain that the former Development and Tourism Minister, Elena Udrea, asked money for herself and for PDL Bucharest, that she attended the meetings where the Ministry’s involvement in Gala Bute was discussed, and that people with important positions performed actions that caused damages to the Development Ministry.

“The evidence in the case proved that, given that the public servants of the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism informed her that they cannot pay the full amount mentioned in the Service Agreement no.232/24.06.2011 since the contracted services have not been totally received, and the BRD representatives were making pressures on the Ministry to pay the full amount, invoking the Letter no.50075/June 29, 2011, issued by the Ministry, the defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela identified another solution to solve this situation, namely part of the amounts of money paid by the witness Gardean Adrian, representing 10% of the amounts received by S.C. Termogaz Company S.A. to be transferred to Obreja Rudel, under an advertising contract concluded with his company, S.C. Europlus Computers SRL, in value of RON 3,000,000” reads the reasoning of the Court.

The evidence in the case also (…) “proved without any doubt that the amounts of money obtained from the corruption offenses came into the patrimony of the defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela and of the PDL Bucharest Organization, by cash remittances or by paying the value of some services provided for them” also reads the document issued by the Court.

Judges also point out that Elena Udrea attended several meetings in which the involvement of the Ministry in the promotional campaign for Gala Bute was discussed, and it was involved in purchasing services, even Udrea denied this.

“Contrary to her statements, defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela attended a part of the meetings in which issues related to the involvement of the Ministry of the Regional Development and Tourism in the sports event since July, 2011, were discussed, personally expressing her will to attend some of the meetings, she asked the public servants of the Ministry to identify solutions that make possible the Ministry’s involvement in the event, she insisted that the public servants have to meet Obreja Rudel, she was permanently informed on the evolution of the purchase process for promotional services, on the obstacles that the involved public servants were facing from the defendant Obreja Rudel, she coordinated, directly or indirectly, the entire procedure for the acquisition of promotional services held by breaching the law provisions” also reads the reasoning.

Judges also explain that in this case, “the committed offenses are highly serious, given that people with important public positions at the highest level – Minister, General Manager of the National Investment Company, Secretary General of the Ministry or personal adviser of the Minister, have been involved in criminal mechanisms to favor certain economic operators willing, in their turn, to ‘return’ a percentage of the received amounts, with the consequence of significantly breaching the principle of the free competition and of appropriating without any right, important amounts of money used by defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela in her personal interest or in the interest of the PDL Bucharest Organization” reads the document.

“The High Court finds that the office duties breached by the defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela as the minister of Regional Development and Tourism and which determine the Court to rule that she committed the offense of abuse of office, are expressly regulated by the Law no.90/2001, in accordance with the provisions of the Decision no.405 since June 15, 2016, of the Constitutional Court of Romania” shows the document.

In March, 2017, the Supreme Court sentenced the former Minister of Regional Development, Elena Udrea, in the “Gala Bute” case, to six years in prison for bribery and abuse of office, and acquitted her for the attempt to use false or incomplete statements. Rudel Obreja was sentenced to five years in prison, Gheorghe Nastasia received four years in prison, while Ana Maria Topoliceanu was sentenced to three years of suspended prison and the former Economy minister, Ion Ariton, was acquitted.

Elena Udrea’s former adviser, Stefan Lungu, received a sentence of one year and a half of suspended prison. Elena Udrea’s personal assistant, Tudor Breazu, was sentenced to three years in prison for complicity in bribery.

Investigators claimed that Elena Udrea had the highest contribution in committing these deeds and in producing the result, because she took the decision to organize the gala after unofficial talks with Rudel Obreja, she determined the adoption of normative acts creating the framework of financing the event, she repeatedly asked the subordinated public servants to meet Obreja in order to identify solutions in the case of concluding the agreement and she directly participated in establishing the budget to be allocated by MDRT outside the framework that was regulated by the public procurement procedure.



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