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March 30, 2023

Bucharest Court of Appeal postpones final sentence in Colectiv case for March

The Bucharest Court of Appeal postponed on Monday, January 3, the final sentence in the Colectiv case, in which former mayor of Sector 4 Cristian Popescu-Piedone was sentenced in the court of first instance to 8 years and 6 months in prison for abuse of office, Agerpres informs.

At the end of the trial, on December 21, 2021, the defendants’ lawyers requested the acquittal or more lenient sentences, considering that the prosecutors were wrong when they decided to prosecute their clients, but also the magistrates of the Bucharest Tribunal, when they handed down imprisonment sentences.

On the other hand, the prosecutors demanded punishments “oriented towards the maximum provided by law” and with jail time for former mayor of Capital Sector 4 Cristian Popescu-Piedone, City Hall officials, club owners, two firefighters, two pyrotechnicians and representatives of a fireworks company, maintaining that the social order was “altered” by corruption, and people lost their lives in the fire.

“We are not talking about two, we are talking about an entire cemetery,” investigators said.

Initially, the trial was supposed to end in June 2021, but the court of judges, consisting of magistrates Adina Pretoria Dumitrache and Andrei Viorel Iugan, raised ex officio a request to change the legal classification of the deeds for some of the defendants in the Colectiv case.

The proposal then led to heated debates between Judge Adina Pretoria Dumitrache, on the one hand, and the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutor and the victims’ lawyers, on the other hand, who argued that attempts were being made for to protract the proceedings and to apply more lenient sentences for the defendants.

The two judges of the court did not agree on the change of the legal classification of the deeds, so a court to settle the dispute was formed, by including a third magistrate.

Subsequently, this court decided to remove the enforcement of particularly serious consequences in the case of the abuse of office offence of which some of the defendants in the Colectiv case are accused, including Cristian Popescu-Piedone.

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