Senate, the upper chamber of the Romanian Parliament, has rejected the National Anti-corruption Directorate’s request to start criminal prosecution against Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, on Monday.
Tariceanu, also chairman of ALDE, is charged by DNA that he had received USD 800,000 as indirect bribe.
Senators have rejected the waiver of immunity in Tariceanu’s case by 38 in favor, 71 against and one abstention.
PSD senator Serban Nicolae spoke up against the anti-corruption prosecutors’ criminal prosecution request, accusing the Opposition MPs that they don’t have legal knowledge and that they are wrongly invoking the results of the EP elections and of the referendum on justice held on May 26.
“Please, think very responsibly of your vote and if you are willing to load your conscience with a criminal prosecution request only to see if someone is guilty or not“, argued Nicolae.
Călin Popescu Tăriceanu has defended himself in the Senate’s plenary sitting, stating that charges against him are political, following his repeated stances against “justice abuses” and the need that the magistrates should be investigated by a special section and not by the National Anti-corruption Directorate.
He claimed he is innocent, arguing that “DNA doesn’t want to send me to court, but to put a black mark on my entire political career” and that the purpose of this kind of file is “to undermine democracy”.
During his speech, Tariceanu has made a blunder saying that “in those almost 30 years since I am in politics I have been in turn deputy, minister, prime minister, Senate Speaker and I have never committed a legal deed”, in fact meaning “illegal deed”.
“Dear colleagues, a frequent topic that is served to us by the noise machine of the parallel state, is that we don’t have the quality to pronounce ourselves on the earnestness of a file where the criminal prosecution is requested against a member of Parliament, meaning that we have a kind of machine to approve documents sent by DNA, a kind of railway station where no train is halting”, Tariceanu pointed out.
The Senate Speaker reiterated the argument that the deeds of which he is accused in this file would have taken place 10 years before the criminal prosecution request had been sent to the Parliament, also reminding that he was also sent to court by DNA in a file and he was acquitted by the High Court judges.
Tariceanu referred to the file where he was charged with perjury as a witness in the illegal retrocession file of Baneasa farm and of some areas of Snagov forest.
The Senate’s plenary session is opposing the green light given by the legal committee of the upper chamber last week, saying that DNA may start prosecution against Tariceanu.
Plans to run for Presidency dropped
On the other hand, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu announced that at present running for presidency is not an option for him anymore, although he had recently claimed he is ready to assume that.
President slams Senate’s vote as “a shield around Tariceanu”
In retort, President Klaus Iohannis has stated that PSD and ALDE continue to obstruct justice by making a shield around Calin Popescu Taricenau in order to help him get rid of the criminal prosecution.
The head of state said that the vote in the Senate represents a “crass defiance against Romanians who voiced a clear option at the referendum of May 26”.
Iohannis argued that PSD-ALDE MPs are disqualifying themselves in front of their own voters through the vote today, while proving they have no plans to reform.