Elena Udrea, placed under house arrest

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romanian Supreme Court) on Thursday ruled to release former Tourism minister Elena Udrea from prison and place her under house arrest. The decision refers to Udrea’s prosecution in Bute Gala file.The ruling is final, thus Udrea left Târg?or women penitentiary several hours after the court’s decision.When leaving the jail, the former minister said that the fact she was released today proves that judiciary has a chance, that there are professionals, bold people who can make justice system be fair. She also thanked the persons who trusted her, especially former president Traian Basescu.

Elena Udrea has been transferred to Târg?or penitentiary on April 30. There she received a menacing letter in jail saying that an inmate was paid to prick her with a HIV infected needle. Following this letter, Udrea asked for higher protection in prison.

At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled replacing the preventive detention with the house arrest in the case of Udrea’s former adviser, Tudor Breazu and in the case of Rudel Obreja, ex-president of the Romanian Box Federation. They were prosecuted in the same file, serving pre-trial detention since early February.

During house arrest, Udrea, Obreja and Breazu are not allowed to leave their houses without the court’s permission. They have to go to the judicial bodies whenever they are asked to and they cannot talk to the other defendants in this file.

Former Tourism minister Elena Udrea, serving a pre trial detention since February 25, was indicted in Bute Gala file about two weeks ago, under the charge of bribery. She is also charged with abuse of office regarding the organization of Bute Gala by the Regional Development and Tourism Ministry.

Elena Udrea will be also judged for money laundering, as she is accused of taking money that she subsequently transferred to the Bucharest branch of the Democrat Liberal Party, disguised as dummy donation contracts, made to conceal the criminal origin of the money.

Accordin to the anti-corruption prosecutors, during 2010 and 2011, Elena Udrea and the former director of the National Investments Company, Ana Maria Topoliceanu have received about RON 300,000 from the owner of Consmin company to ensure the payment on schedule of the works conducted by the company.

In 2011, Udrea would have asked and received financial interest from businessman Adrian Gardean, meaning 10 percent of the payments made by the ministry for the contracts concluded by Termogaz Company and Kranz Eurocenter.

21 donation contracts worth RON 1,537,200 would have been registered in PDL Bucharest accounting during July 19, 2011- July 18, 2012.


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