Teleorman county council decides to give Belina Island back to the state

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Belina Island and Pavel Channel have returned to the state’s property (Romanian Waters) after the Teleorman County Council has decided to give them back. Belina Island and Pavel channel had been rented by TelDrum company, allegedly related to PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea, Chamber Speaker.

The return is based on the same government resolution dating back in December 2013 signed by former PM Victor Ponta and assumed by Liviu Dragnea, then deputy PM.

The two had been transferred from the public administration of Teleorman County “in the view of rehabilitation of the natural environment in the Danube area-Belina Island-Pavel channel“.

According to article 3 of the resolution, if the investment is not concluded in 5 years, the island and channel are to be returned to the state’s public domain, in the administration of the National Administration of Romanian Waters.

This time frame destined to the rehabilitation of the area is ending in two weeks and no investment has been made in the public interest so far.

Belina Island has been at the center of a scandal this year after prosecutors started probing into the controversial transfer into the administration of Teleorman Count Council and its renting to Tel Drum.

In August this year, the National Anti-corruption Directorate asked the court that the government decision on Belina island’s being given to the Teleorman county council should be abolished.

Prosecutors argued that in this case is an example of exemption from the Civil Code provisions, according to which the transfer of a property right could not be carried out through government decision.

The anti-corruption prosecutors announced in April that the former Minister for Regional Development and ex-secretary of state in the same ministry, Sevil Shhaideh, is indicted in the Belina file, under the charge of abuse of office.

According to the anti-corruption prosecutors’ indictment in the Belina file, that defendants Sevil Shhaideh, former secretary of state within the Regional Development Ministry and Ionela Stoian, as director within the same ministry, have not observed the former premier disposal and ignored the observations from the Justice and Finance Ministries, which had given negative opinion to the legislative act on the transfer of Belina island to the Teleorman county council.

Bucharest Tribunal notifies CCR over constitutional exception in Belina case

Romania’s Constitutional Court has been notified by the Bucharest Tribunal over a constitutional exception in the Belina case, where Sevil Shhaideh, former secretary of state within the Development Ministry, is charged with abuse of office.

Overall, Shhaideh’s lawyers are challenging the constitutionality of article 173 in the Criminal Procedure Code that regulates the procedure of nominating the expert by the criminal prosecution body.

The defenders say that article would come into conflict with the Constitution’s articles that guarantee the free access to justice, to finding justice.

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