The Supreme Court has postponed, for October 3, the trial in which Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu is indicted for perjury, considering that the chairman of the panel of judges will no longer handle the dossier since she will most likely retire. As a result, the new chairman of the panel has decided that the evidence should be resubmitted, invoking a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision.
Constantin Epure, the new chairman of the panel of judges, announced during Tuesday’s court hearing that judge Anamaria Dascalu is no longer a member of the panel and, in these conditions, the evidence has to be resubmitted. Epure gave the floor to the prosecutor, who asked for all the evidence included in the indictment to be submitted.
The lawyer of Mr Tariceanu – who was not present at the court hearing – pointed out that he opposes the presentation, during the public court hearing, of the audio recordings included in the dossier, arguing that they were not challenged and are not relevant for the case. “We agree with the hearing of the 18 witnesses, but we oppose the public hearing of the wiretaps from the dossier. My client did not deny, not for a second, their existence and authenticity, so that in the view of my client hearing them in public is irrelevant,” the defender claimed.
A court decision on these aspects is pending, the court deciding that the trial is to resume on October 3 with the hearing of Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who has been notified.
So far in this case, Tariceanu has been heard as defendant, while Serban Mihailescu gave a statement as witness. As a result of that statement, prosecutors took note, ex officio, of the committal of perjury, since he changed the deposition he gave during the criminal prosecution.
In June 2016, the plenum of the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) approved judge Ana Maria Dascalu’s request to remain in office after reaching the age of retirement. According to the law, magistrates who are older than 65 and want to continue working must annually ask the CSM to keep them in office.
Judge Dascalu will most likely no longer ask the CSM to keep her in office and will retire.
The lawsuit in which Calin Popescu Tariceanu is indicted for perjury and connivance started on March 14 at the High Court of Cassation and Justice, after the Court decided, on January 10, that the lawsuit can start on the merits, rejecting in a final ruling the requests and exceptions that the Senate Speaker had lodged.
The dossier was sent to court on 6 July 2016, by DNA Brasov prosecutors who accuse Calin Popescu Tariceanu of lying in the statements he made as witness in the dossier concerning the restitution of a plot of land in Snagov Forest and of the Baneasa Farm, dossier in which Prince Paul, Remus Truica, Tal Silberstein and Dan Andronic are indicted.
Dorin Marian, who was formerly head of the Presidential Administration in 2000, was indicted alongside the Senate Speaker, being also charged with perjury.
According to the DNA, on 15 April 2016, as part of the investigation in the case concerning the illegal restitution of a section of the Snagov Forest and of the Baneasa Farm, while under oath, Tariceanu “made false statements about essential aspects of the case and did not reveal everything he knew about essential circumstances, thus seeking to prevent/delay the holding accountable of the defendants criminally investigated in the case that had been sent to court.” Thus, the Senate Speaker is accused of falsely claiming that he was not aware that plots of land located in Baneasa (the former Royal Farm) and Snagov (the Fundul Sacului forest section) had been handed back to Paul Philippe of Romania, nor was he aware that defendants Tal Silberstein, Beny Steinmetz, Moshe Agavi and other persons were involved in the restitution procedures. Likewise, the DNA prosecutors claim, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu made false statements and did not reveal everything he knew about his relationship with Tal Silberstein, Dan Catalin Andronic and Remus Truica, and did not mention the meetings and talks he had with Truica, meetings and talks that focused on the public notary taxes for the transactions involving the aforementioned properties, nor the way the claimed properties had been obtained and turned to profit.
The Senate Speaker was heard in this case on April 11, when he told the court that in 2008 he put an end to the relations of political consultancy he had had with Tal Silbersterin and Dan Andronic, after they became aides to Traian Basescu. He added that they continued meeting from 2008 to 2014, but only to discuss politics.
Tariceanu pointed out he did not lie when he said he did not talk with Remus Truica about the sale of the Baneasa Farm and Snagov Forest plots of land, and that Prince Paul probably filed a criminal complaint against him because he considered he opposed his actions after he found out that he publicly called him “a bastard.”
On 18 May 2016, businessman Remus Truica, Prince Paul and 20 other persons, including Tal Silberstein, Benjamin Steinmetz, Agavi Moshe, Marius Marcovici and journalist Dan Andronic, were indicted in the dossier concerning the illegal restitution of the Baneasa Farm and of 47 hectares of the Snagov Forest.