Supreme Court decides to adjourn to January 25 cases in the dockets of the five-judge panels

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) decided on Monday to adjourn to January 25 cases in the dockets of the five-judge panels, including those where Liviu Dragnea, Victor Ponta, Toni Grebla, Sebastian Ghita, Cristian Rizea, Viorel Hrebenciuc and Tudor Chiuariu appear as defendants.

The five-member criminal panel announced they will set a new administrative hearing for January 14, having in view the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal that suspended the random draw of the new panels.

The panel to issue this ruling was as follows: Rodica Cosma, Valentina Horia Selaru, Simona Cristina Nenita, Francisca Maria Vasile and Ioana Alina Ilie.

Last week, the top court announced that the five-judge panels are deadlocked and cannot carry out their activity.

Most ICCJ magistrates back then said that at the trial sessions scheduled for December 3 and 10, the five-judge panels should set new court hearings for January 2019.

The most noteworthy cases subject to this decision are as follows:

* The Teleorman Social Assistance and Child Protection Directorate General case – where Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea was handed a three-and-half-year prison sentence in the first-instance court for inciting abuse of office.

* The “Rovinari – Turceni” case – where former Prime Minister Victor Ponta was acquitted of forgery in documents under private signature, complicity in tax evasion and money laundering.

* The case of illegal forest restitutions – where former deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc was sentenced to 2 years in prison for influence peddling, and former minister Tudor Chiuariu was acquitted.

* The case where former deputy Cristian Rizea was handed a four year and eight months sentence for influence peddling, money laundering and influencing statements.

* The case where former Constitutional Court magistrate Toni Grebla was cleared in the first-instance court of influence peddling charges.

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