JUSTICE POLITICS

DNA requests executory prison sentence against Ludovic Orban; ICCJ judges to rule on March 5

On March 5, Supreme Court judges will issue a ruling in the dossier that concerns the National Liberal Party (PNL) PChairman Ludovic Orban. On Monday, during the last court hearing of the trial that started in 2016, in which Ludovic Orban is indicted for corruption, DNA prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to rule an executory prison sentence. Nevertheless, prosecutors want the conviction to consist of the minimum prison sentence, namely one year.

“I expect justice to be served. In my view, things are extremely clear, I didn’t use my political influence in any way. (…) I didn’t take a penny,” Orban said when leaving the courtroom.

Asked for his comment on the DNA’s request, the PNL natioanl leader said: “At the background court they requested a medium executory sentence. The DNA has no extra evidence, they haven’t brought any extra witness compared to the background court.”

“I have no reason to believe the verdict issued by the background court can be modified,” Orban added.

 

Orban on his dossier: I expect the court to judge based exactly on the evidence and to confirm I did not commit any crime

 

PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban stated on Monday that he will attend the last court hearing in his dossier and he expects the court to demonstrate that he is innocent. He added that he expects the campaign against the anticorruption fight to stop and that if prosecutors commit abuses “those entities empowered by the Constitution and by the country’s laws should have their say.”

“Today is the last court hearing, the closing statements take place. I’ll go just as I did in each stage of the juridical procedures, both at the DNA and at the appeal court. I expect justice to be served, I expect the court to judge based exactly on the evidence, on the law, and to issue that decision that I find normal and that would confirm that I did not commit any crime,” Ludovic Orban stated.

Asked why he backs the DNA even though he considers himself “a victim” of this institution, the PNL leader said he does not agree with the abuses committed by some prosecutors.

“The fact that I said I see no grounds for the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor doesn’t mean I agree with certain prosecutors committing abuses. On the contrary, you know very well that when such cases appeared I said it is in the interest of the DNA and in the interest of the general perception for prosecutors who clearly committed abuses to disappear from the institution,” he added.

“I expect this miserable campaign being waged against the anticorruption fight – waged precisely by the people who, many of them, have real problems with both the DNA and in court – to stop. I believe those entities empowered by the Constitution and the country’s laws should have their say in what concerns the activity of the judiciary institutions,” he added.

Orban was indicted by DNA prosecutors on 17 May 2016, being accused of using his influence to obtain undue benefits. On 11 April 2016, when he was remanded under judicial control, Orban left the electoral race for the Bucharest City Hall and resigned from the office of PNL First Vice President and Deputy Speaker of the House, remaining a House lawmaker until his term expired in December 2016.

On 31 January 2017, Orban was acquitted by a three-judge panel at the Supreme Court. The decision was not final and was challenged at the Supreme Court’s five-judge panel.

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