National Liberal Party (PNL) President Ludovic Orban was acquitted in the case in which he was accused of using his influence to obtain undue benefits, namely of asking businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu for a contribution of EUR 50,000 for his Bucharest City Hall elections campaign. The decision was adopted by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on Monday and is final.
The Supreme Court’s decision is final, thus upholding the decision that a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court had adopted on 31 January 2017.
“I consider myself innocent. I didn’t abuse my political influence. I didn’t make the slightest hint about this office. I didn’t have at any moment the intention to benefit from illegal financing. The Bible is not here, but I have sworn. I trust your capacity to judge,” Ludovic Orban had stated before the five-judge panel of the Supreme Court on February 19, during the final court hearing.
In his turn, the DNA prosecutor asked the court to sentence the PNL President to one year in prison, executory sentence, claiming that he used his party office to obtain undue benefits, and that the voice recordings came on top of the denunciation that businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu filed against him.
The PNL leader said he trusts the panel of judges and the fact that the rule of law exists in Romania. He added he has no reason to believe the trial court’s acquittal decision could be modified.
“I believe public people must detach themselves from considerations of a personal nature, frustrations, personal revenge, the hidden interests they have. (…) I didn’t behave like other politicians who started attacking the DNA the moment they were summoned at the DNA. My decision was to give up all the leadership offices I held within the party and within Parliament, to give up my candidacy for the City Hall. I didn’t run for Parliament until I received a verdict from the trial court. I don’t believe you saw me coming at the Supreme Court with bodyguards, I don’t believe you saw me threatening prosecutors and judges,” Ludovic Orban stated.
DNA prosecutors indicted Orban on 17 May 2016, accusing him of using his influence to obtain undue benefits.