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December 9, 2022

Elena Udrea and Alina Bica remain under arrest in Costa Rica after Constitutional Tribunal rejects their release request

Elena Udrea and Alina Bica will remain under arrest in Costa Rica after the Constitutional Tribunal rejected their release request.

Both turned to the constitutional court on November 6, against the backdrop in which they were placed under arrest for two months and are engaged in an extradition procedure requested by the Romanian authorities.

According to Costa Rican journalists, Udrea argued that she has a new-born girl and prison conditions are not proper for them to be together, while Bica referred to the documents on whose basis the extradition was requested.

Last Thursday afternoon, Elena Udrea and Alina Bica lodged another overture with the constitutional court, claiming that the sentences on whose basis their extradition was requested were cancelled in Romania, hence the two should be released. The judges are expected to decide primarily as regards the admissibility of this action, Costa Rican journalists write.

“A very important factor that has intervened is the fact that Elena Udrea and Alina Bica’s lawyers went to Romania to bring documents concerning a recent Constitutional Court decision which shows that all the sentences issued in 2014 could be modified. They have included the documents in the dossier here and will use them to ask that the two be released. The documents have already been presented here and are being verified by the embassy,” journalist Gustavo Fallas, author of the article concerning Udrea and Bica, stated for RomaniaTV.

The journalist also stated that Alina Bica allegedly asked the Pavas Tribunal – which ruled on a first release request – that Elena Udrea be released. According to the journalist, Bica allegedly said: “Keep me in prison but release her.”

On November 3, Udrea’s first challenge against the pre-trial arrest measure was rejected by a judge from the Criminal Tribunal of Pavas.

The information was confirmed by the Costa Rican Public Ministry’s Press Bureau for journalist Amelia Rueda, the mentioned source pointing out that Elena Udrea will remain under arrest.

A similar decision was also taken for Alina Bica at the time.

Former Tourism Minister Elena Udrea and former head of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Alina Bica were detained on October 3 by the Interpol National Bureau in Costa Rica. Subsequently, Elena Udrea and Alina Bica were placed under pre-trial arrest for two months.

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