Trial date brought forward in Sebastian Ghita’s case

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) on Friday revised the trial date on the appeal against lifting Sebastian Ghita‘s interdiction to leave the country. The hearing should have been on January 30 and it is now brought forward on January 5.

The anti-corruption prosecutors challenged the Supreme Court’s previous ruling that allowed Ghita to leave Romania in the file where he is on trial for bribery, blackmail, influence peddling, using off the record information and driving without a driving license. The prosecutors’ appeal will be tried on January 5, 2017 and not January 30, as previously ruled on Thursday.

On December 16, the Supreme Court had admitted the former deputy’s request to lift interdiction to leave the country “without the judicial body’s consent” in the file where he is prosecuted next to former heads of the local judiciary system and of the police in Ploiesti.

The decision of lifting the interdiction, which was not final nor enforceable, had been delivered to Sebastian Ghita on December 19, when he went to the Prahove Police for the judicial control, according to a press release by the Romanian Police.

The former deputy has been subpoenaed on Wednesday, December 21, at 12:00hrs in the Ponta-Blair file where he is charged with money laundering, but he didn’t show up, only his lawyers did. He has been gone missing ever since.

Interior Ministry Dragos Tudorache asked the chief of the Romanian Police as a matter of urgency to conduct an internal investigation regarding the way policemen have acted in the case of Ghita’s disappearance.

The Romanian Police says help has been asked to the Border Police and that checks have been done at all border checkpoints and none have confirmed that Ghita would have left the country.

Sebastian Ghita has been under stakeout of the Special Operations Directorate since December 19, at the order of DNA Ploiesti, but police officers argue that the prosecutors’ ordinance hasn’t involved “watching the former MP in traffic or restricting the defendant’s liberties”.

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