The Senate’s Speaker and the Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu Tariceanu has cancelled his departure to the European ALDE Congress held in Madrid. The decision comes after the appearance of the case opened by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) according to which the ALDE Chairman is accused of taking USD 800,000 as bribe from an Austrian company, sources from inside the party stated for MEDIAFAX.
“The Chairman (Calin Popescu Tariceanu – e.n.) has cancelled his departure to Madrid”, the quoted sources stated.
DNA’s request on the criminal prosecution on Tariceanu’s name has reached the Senate
DNA’s request regarding the approval of the criminal request on Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s name has reached the Senate, which is going to decide in this respect, the quoted sources stated. The request was sent by the General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar.
DNA has officially announced that the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu is accused of receiving almost USD 800,000 from the representatives of an Austrian company, in order for that company to conclude a number of addenda to a commercial agreement, the money being used in the electoral campaign.
“The prosecutors are conducting an investigation related to suspicions on committing corruption deeds for covering certain electoral campaign expenses with amounts of money from a company which is suspected to have obtained important commercial agreements with the Romanian state. The file was made in 2018, as a result of unifying three criminal cases, of which one was took by the DNA prosecutors upon the Austrian judicial authorities’ request. Specifically, a dignitary is suspected to have received, indirectly, during the period 2007-2008, material benefits amounting around USD 800,000 from the representatives of an Austrian company, in exchange for the efforts made by him in the exercise of his position, so that a number of addenda to a commercial agreement run by the company will be concluded. The amount allegedly represents a fee of 10% of the value of these addenda and was used for the benefit of the dignitary, being transferred according to some fictitious agreements concluded with several offshore companies”, the DNA prosecutors stated in an answer for MEDIAFAX.
According to the quoted source, the investigation in this case is also related to other persons for complicity in bribery; as for the dignitary, who currently is a senator, the criminal prosecution for taking bribe is conditioned by the approval of the Senate.
“In this respect, the Chief-Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate sent to the General Prosecutor of P.I.C.C.J. the required documents to notify the Senate, which is going to decide on this. The approval requested for the senator in this criminal case is needed in order to fully conduct the criminal prosecution and to give him the possibility to prepare his defense within a legal procedural framework”, DNA also added.
Senator Manda explains why he received request for prosecution of Senate Chairman Tariceanu
Senator Claudiu Manda of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) has explained that he took over a request from the anti-graft prosecutors for the prosecution of Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu on Thursday as deputy chairman of the Senate as Tariceanu was scheduled for a trip these days. He added that the case file drawn up by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) has 73 volumes, each containing between 190 and 300 pages.
“The reason why it came to me and not to the other deputy chairs is that on November 6 we decided that today and tomorrow and the next week, when he is on a trip, the exercise of his duties as chairman were to be published in the Official Journal and it was me to deputise for him, that is why the request came to me. Secondly, given that this is a subject that directly concerns Mr Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, there was no way that the filing and these documents would get to him; they reached me directly. I tabled a resolution with the Standing Bureau, signed November 7, 2018. These documents will reach the Standing Bureau of the Senate where we will have to decide. Procedurally, the decision of the Standing Bureau will be to send all these documents to the Judicial Committee, which will prepare a report to be presented to the plenary session. Between 15:10 o’clock and 18:30 o’clock, when I could not confirm that such a request was made, it was the time that the 73 volumes were received. I understand that’s a whole procedure. Stock is taken on each page, which is then filed and sealed, and all these documents which as far as I understand will be sealed at the Judicial Committee, and then, when the committee is informed, they can be unsealed, discussed, seen and we will get a report before the Judicial Committee,” Manda said at the Parliament House.
He mentioned that the documents would be presented to the Standing Bureau under seal.
“Someone of the staff came to my office presenting the notification and summary; I wrote on it ?to the Standing Bureau, signed November 7, 2018,’ with the intention of the documents to go to go to the Standing Bureau. I had reason to inform [PSD national leader] Mr Liviu Dragnea,” said Manda.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu on criminal probe request on his name: During the Government I led there was no payment to Microsoft
Referring to the criminal probe request issued on his name, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Wednesday, for Mediafax, that he has not received any notification. According to information made public, the start of a criminal probe against him has been allegedly requested in the Microsoft case.
Tariceanu claimed that no criminal probe request on his name was received at the Senate until that moment, and that during the Government he led there was no payment to Microsoft.
“These days it’s as if we are living the scenario of an operation that could be called ‘Rescue Lazar.’ An off-duty peasant finds a briefcase in a field and hands it over to blue-eyed journalists. Several days later, a stew that is older than 10 years is reheated and the piece of news according to which I’m allegedly about to be probed in the Microsoft case is thrown to the press. The scenario of the operation is so ridiculous that it would seem unserious even in films that are part of the ‘B.D.’ series. However, the public effects are as serious as possible, so I want to make several important clarifications,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.
The Senate Speaker maintained that, contrary to press speculations, the Senate has not received any request from prosecutors.
“Supposing it will arrive, it will follow the procedural circuit followed by any such request. Thirdly, during the Government I led there was no payment to Microsoft in the case of the licenses that the dossier mentions. The contract was signed during the Nastase Government, payments were made during the Governments that followed the 2005-2008 period, but not during the Tariceanu Government. The Government Decisions, which a part of the press refers to, stipulated the start of the process of inventorying the licenses. I promoted these GDs against the backdrop in which Microsoft was threatening to sue Romania, in which case we risked seeing the Romanian state losing a lot of money. Faced with these facts, talking about bribery accusations makes no sense,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu pointed out.
The Senate Speaker said he knows that there are some “at the control panel” who are thinking they can keep their offices, or politicians who still believe that this is how elections are won and Governments are formed.
“Recent history shows us the effects of such anti-democratic, anti-constitutional and even non-legal actions. On the electoral plane, those who believed themselves to be the future beneficiaries lost at the polls. And when Romania was led by a Government formed via a covert coup d’état, the whole country stood to lose. Hence the name ‘nil Government,’ which will remain in the history books. Last but not least, these actions have contributed to the creation of a divided society, splintered by conflicts and left without the certainty of a path forward. In the Romania that is getting ready to take over the presidency of the Council of the EU, these tactics can no longer work, not even as much as they did until now. The truth about protocols and abuses has been brought to light, and the legislative path of the amendments reforming the judiciary and cutting off the sickly connection with the services is irreversible. Romania can no longer return to the days when President Basescu was intervening to appoint certain prosecutors and was hounding them at his political adversaries,” Tariceanu concluded.
On Wednesday, leaked information quoted by Antena3 claimed that DNA prosecutors have asked the Senate to approve the start of a criminal probe against Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, for bribery, an offence he allegedly perpetrated while he was member of the Government, the probe concerning the Microsoft case. Prosecutor General Office representatives have pointed out for MEDIAFAX that the DNA sent to the Prosecutor General a review of the case in order for him to lodge with the Senate a request to approve the start of a criminal probe against a Senator, for bribery, an offence allegedly perpetrated while the Senator was member of the Government of Romania, but without disclosing his name.
“It is strange that, more than 10 years since my office ended, this issue is resumed, which I consider to be an extra reaction to my attitude towards combating abuses and excesses in justice”
“The Government decisions that were adopted at the time were intended to index the Microsoft licenses used in public institutions. I bring to mind that this contract was signed and enforced based on a Gov’t Decision adopted in 2004,” Tariceanu told a press release sent to AGERPRES.
In his opinion, “we are witnessing another product of DNA case factory.”
“It is strange that, more than 10 years since my office ended and 3 years after my name firstly came up in this case, this issue is resumed, which I consider to be an extra reaction to my attitude towards combating abuses and excesses in justice. My actions obviously disturb those who have illegally seized power in the Romanian state. Considering the perjury case in which I have been acquitted, it seems that we are again witnessing another product of the DNA case FACTORY,” added Tariceanu.
He further maintains that “in Romania which is preparing to assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union, these tactics can no longer function, not even the way they have been able to work so far.”
“The truth about protocols and abuses has been revealed, and the legislative path of the amendments aimed at reforming justice and breaking the diseased connection with the services is irreversible. Romania can no longer go back to the times when President Basescu intervened to appoint certain prosecutors and pitted them against the political adversaries,” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook.
A leader of the Opposition is asking Tariceanu to resign: Calin, I give you a valuable advice – resign!
People’s Movement Party (PMP) Chairman Eugen Tomac stated on Wednesday that the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu should prove he has dignity and resign from Parliament, after he was accused by DNA of receiving a bribe of USD 800,000 from Austrian companies.
“Calin, I give you a valuable advice! I think it would be good for everybody if you would prove you have dignity. What if you’d be a statesman and resign from Parliament, proving that you’re not hiding behind the parliamentary immunity?! It wouldn’t be for the first time. It also happened in 1996. My opinion is that Dragnea appreciated that you want too much. Well, it’s my opinion too that the armchair from Cotroceni is too much for you!”, Eugen Tomac wrote on Facebook.
Speaker Dragnea on DNA request regarding Tariceanu: I find them to be odd coincidences
Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber and Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday that he doesn’t know what is included in Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu’s case, but noted in this regard the existence of “some odd coincidences.”
“I don’t know what is in the case and I have no way of knowing it, I haven’t seen other pieces of information. All I can say is that I find some odd coincidences. Just yesterday, […] Mr Tariceanu, who was supposed to go to the ALDE [the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] Party Congress, an important political event for the ALDE of Romania, even yesterday evening when this request popped-up. I find it to be a coincidence. Moreover, also a coincidence seems to be that it emerged in the aftermath which was ultra-announced and shouted out by the PNL [the National Liberal Party], that wants to lodge a censure motion. I no longer believe in coincidences, it’s been a while since I believed in such demarches that are very close to the unfolding of some political events, strictly political and, for this reason, I personally am reserved. But, not knowing all the content of the case, for now I cannot make any other comments,” Dragnea stated at the Palace of Parliament.