Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea was at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, to be heard as defendant in the dossier in which he is accused of instigating abuse of office and forgery in connection with fictitious employments at DGASPC Teleorman.
On his arrival at the Supreme Court, Liviu Dragnea was met by several #Rezist protesters who jeered him.
Likewise, gendarmes were deployed at the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ), where they made sure the PSD President was able to enter the building.
Dragnea heard after more than four hours since the start of the court hearing
PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said during the Wednesday hearing that he categorically rejects all charges brought against him because he considers himself innocent. SocDem leader was heard after more than four hours since the start of the court hearing, three of the witnesses having been heard during that time.
Magistrates started hearing Liviu Dragnea after 2 p.m., the PSD leader having asked to be heard last.
“I understand the accusations levelled against me, but I categorically reject them, because I consider myself innocent,” Liviu Dragnea said.
He said that during the period mentioned in the dossier he was Chairman of the Teleorman County Council and president of PSD’s county branch and claimed that he did not have a privileged relationship with the two defendants – Adriana Botorogeanu and Anisa Stoica. The PSD leader also claimed that he met Anisa Stoica at a party event where discussions with the local press also took place, journalists stating back then that PSD Teleorman needs better public relations.
“I knew Botorogeanu since before 2004. (…) From the party, she was in one of the parliamentary offices. I met Stoica at a party event, I don’t know whether at the Lower House, it was a party conference or something like that. There was a discussion with the party colleagues and the local press that had come there. It was an informal discussion, political things. Some opinions came from the press, according to which PSD Teleorman needed better public relations. Both my colleagues and I said: ‘give us some ideas.’ I don’t know who it was exactly, after all we’re talking about many years, [it was] back in 2005-2006, it’s hard for me to say. Jokingly I believe, those from the press said they would charge. I told them we don’t even have the money to hire consultants, to hire [people] at the party, because we didn’t have money. If I may, I heard it today too, there has been constant talk about the activity at the party,” Dragnea said in court.
He claimed that during that period a party’s county branch did not need people working daily from dawn to dusk.
“If I may, I heard it today too, there has been constant talk about the activity at the party. Back then, a party’s county branch was not like a plant, for it to have people working every day from dawn to dusk, possibly in two shifts. Today there are county branches that are hiring. Subsequently, Mrs Stoica came – I don’t know if [she came] at the County Council, I recall [she came] at the party headquarters – as a follow-up to that discussion at that political event, for us to discuss how the party could strike a collaboration deal with her,” the PSD leader said.
Asked by the magistrates why she was the one who showed up, from among all the journalists present at that discussion, Dragnea said: “I don’t know. I don’t want to offend anyone, but people who did not have higher education but who wanted to be plant directors were also showing up at the party headquarters.”
The PSD leader said that his discussion with Anisa Stoica was not long and he told her that if she wanted to get a job at the party he was not the one doing the hiring, the party secretary being the one handling that, but that he did not believe “it can be done,” however there would be no problem if she wants to collaborate with the party as a volunteer. He denied telling Anisa Stoica to go get a job at the DGASPC. He also denied intervening in any way so that she would be hired there.
“Subsequently, after a while, I don’t know how long it was, when we had a meeting at the party headquarters, it was evening I believe, after the meeting, there was a lot of people there, many colleagues from the BPN [National Political Bureau], other members, non-members who were outside the headquarters. At one moment, Mrs Stoica told me that she nevertheless must have an income and [asked me] if she can get a job at the party. I told her that, from what I know, she can’t get a job and I advised her to look for a job, because she couldn’t rely on the party for stable income. I didn’t ask Mrs Stoica to go get a job at the DGASPC while in fact remaining at the party. I didn’t talk to any person at the DGASPC, at any other institution, so that Mrs Stoica would be hired,” the PSD leader claimed.
Likewise, Dragnea denied the accusations according to which he determined DGASPC Director Floarea Alesu to keep in office the two persons who were working at the PSD – Anisa Stoica and Adriana Botorogeanu. “Referring to the accusation that I determined Floarea Alesu to keep the two persons in office, and also for the time they actually worked at the party’s county branch to be registered as seniority in office, I categorically deny such [an act of] determining or influencing.”
He added he did not know the two were not showing up to work at the DGASPC and nobody told him so. “I was seeing them when we were having the County Standing Bureau [meeting], once or twice a month,” he claimed.
Asked when he found out that the two were DGASPC employees and from whom, Dragnea said: “I believe I found out from Botorogeanu at one point during that period. Regarding Stoica, I no longer know, it’s difficult for me to pinpoint. In general, I was asking the colleagues I was meeting, we were meeting at the party, at events. I was preoccupied whether they had jobs, I was telling them that at the party they are volunteers, the party won’t come up with money.”
At the Wednesday hearing, Anisa Stoica, defendant in this dossier, Timotei Stuparu, former secretary of PSD Teleorman, and Nicusor Gheorghe, former DGASPC Teleorman Service Chief, were heard before Liviu Dragnea.
According to prosecutors, “from July 2006 to December 2012, Dragnea Nicolae Liviu, in his capacity as Chairman of the Teleorman County Council and president of the county branch of a political party, intentionally determined defendant Alesu Floarea, executive director of the Teleorman County General Directorate for Social Services and Child Protection (DGASPC Teleorman) to infringe upon her duties by maintaining in office – and implicitly paying the salary rights of – two of the institution’s employees. In fact, the two persons were working at the headquarters of the Teleorman county branch whose president suspect Dragnea Nicolae Liviu was, an aspect that the latter was aware of.”
Thus, the DNA points out, the persons who were formally employed received a total of RON 108,612, a sum for which DGASPC Teleorman brought a civil action in the criminal lawsuit. The PSD President’s ex-wife is also tried in this case.
In what concerns Bombonica Prodana, prosecutors state that “from 3 March 2008 to 1 August 2008, and from 3 July 2009 to 1 August 2010, in her capacity as coordinator of the centre for child and family services and head of the Secretariat Service of DGASPC Teleorman, by knowingly breaking her job duties, even though she knew that two of her subordinates did not show up for work and did not observe the terms of their labour contracts and their job description, she did not carry out any overture to censure the said persons.”
Dragnea, in court: I’m trying to figure out why I was indicted without any evidence but based solely on gossip over a spritzer. I’m still the DNA’s target
PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at the Supreme Court, that he is trying to understand why he was indicted based on no evidence but solely on “gossip over a spritzer,” and claimed that he has remained “the DNA’s target.”
“I would like to conclude, your honour. As I said at the beginning, I’ve read the dossiers, the indictments, the statements. I’m trying to figure out why I was indicted without any evidence but based solely on gossip over a spritzer. I haven’t succeeded. What else is there to say, I’m still the DNA’s target,” Dragnea stated before the magistrates while walking away from the microphone.
Liviu Dragnea’s ex-wife claims she has paid the damages and asks ICCJ to terminate trial
Bombonica Prodana, Liviu Dragnea’s ex-wife, demanded on Wednesday, through her lawyer, that the criminal lawsuit against her be terminated, pointing out that she fully paid the damages attributed to her in the DGASPC Teleorman case.
Liviu Dragnea’s ex-wife did not show up at the court hearing on Wednesday, however her lawyer lodged on her behalf the request to have the lawsuit terminated. The lawyer pointed out that Bombonica Prodana has fully paid all damages.