Supreme Court postpones ruling in corruption case involving Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea
JUDICIARY – The judges with the High Court of Cassation in Bucharest have today postponed to June 12 a verdict in a case involving the former chief of the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, Alina Bica, the businessman Dorin Cocoş and his son. Bica is accused of aggravated abuse of office while employed as a secretary of state and representing the Justice Ministry in the Central Commission for Compensation Settlement within the National Authority for Property Restitution. The former chief of the anti-mafia prosecutor’s office is in Costa Rica, together with Dorin Cocos’ ex-wife, Elena Udrea, herself a former minister and tried for corruption, after having been regarded for a long time the most influential member of the ex-President Traian Basescu’s circle. The 2 applied for political asylum in Costa Rica.
CORRUPTION – The High Court of Cassation and Justice once again postponed today a ruling in the case in which the Social Democratic Party president and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea is accused of corruption offences. At the previous hearing on May 15, anti-corruption prosecutors requested a sentence of 7 years and 5 months in prison for abuse of office and six months for forgery. They say that while Dragnea was the chairman of the Teleorman County Council, he ordered the Social Assistance and Child Protection Directorate to fictitiously hire 2 party members, who were paid from public funds although they worked exclusively for the Social Democratic Party. In 2016, Dragnea received a suspended sentence for attempted election fraud. The Social Democratic leader is until Thursday in Switzerland, on an official visit as Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
DEFENCE – The Romanian Foreign Minister, Mihai Fifor, had talks in Paris with his French counterpart Florence Parly, about the bilateral cooperation in the defence sector. According to Minister Fifor, the parties have agreed to harmonise their positions on security on the eastern flank of NATO, ahead of the Alliance’s summit in Brussels in July. Another topic discussed by the 2 officials was the Romanian presidency of the EU Council in the first half of next year. Fifor’s visit also includes, among other things, a meeting with Philippe Etienne, the diplomatic adviser of President Emmanuel Macron and former Ambassador of France to Romania, and visits to military equipment producers.
BREXIT – The deputy PM of Romania, Ana Birchall, had a meeting today with a delegation of the Romania-UK Friendship Parliamentary Group, in which context she reiterated, with respect to Brexit, the importance of protecting the rights of the Romanian citizens and their families who live, work or study in UK. 'Romania will continue to lobby for Britain to remain as close as possible to the European Union after Brexit as well,' Ana Birchall said. According to a news release issued by the Government, participants in the talks emphasised the importance of the Strategic Partnership with the UK, which has a sound foundation in the field of security and in the economic area.
FILM AWARDS - 'Fixeur', directed by Adrian Sitaru, was the winner of the Awards gala of the Romanian Filmmakers Association (UCIN), held on Monday in Bucharest. The film won the Grand Prize and the Trophy of the Association. Călin Peter Netzer won the best director award for 'Ana, mon amour'. The Gala, one of the most important events of the year in this field, was attended by hundreds of guests. This year the Romanian Filmmakers Association celebrates 55 years since its establishment.
TENNIS – The world no 1 Simona Halep, of Romania, is playing today against the American Alison Riske (105 WTA), in the first tour of Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year. Three other Romanians will also play today. Sorana Cîrstea (45 WTA) is facing the Australian Daria Gavrilova (24 WTA), Irina Begu (41 WTA) the Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (78 WTA), and Ana Bogdan (65 WTA) takes on the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (90). On Monday, two other players from Romania moved past the opening round: Alexandra Dulgheru (160 WTA) beat the American Christina McHale (no 85 WTA), and Mihaela Buzărnescu (32 WTA) defeated Vania King (1.276 WTA), also from the USA. In the men’s competition, the only Romanian player, Marius Copil (95 ATP), lost to the Italian Marco Cecchinato (72 ATP).
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)