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PSD chairman Dragnea’s appeal against the referendum file sentence on probation, overruled

Judges from the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) have overruled on Monday the Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea’s appeal in the Referendum file, where he was sentenced to two years on probation. The appeal was overruled as unfounded. The ruling is final, cannot be challenged anymore.

Liviu Dragnea has challenged the final sentence ruling, through an extraordinary remedy at law. The PSD chairman was sentenced to two years in probation on April 22 last year.

The Supreme Court has motivated decision that sentenced Dragnea to two years on probation in the referendum fraud file, with judges arguing that the PSD leader has chosen to ‘abusively use his authority and influence in the party’ to falsify the ballots results.

On the other hand, the PSD chairman argued that the motivation of his sentence had been signed by other judges than the ones who had sentenced him to two years on probation. He stated before entering the hearing that he hopes judges will rule in his favor.

Moreover, his lawyers have asked for the notification of the European Court of Justice after the Supreme Court had rejected their request for an IT expertize on ECRIS system from which the motivation in the Referendum case had been drafted. Dragnea’s defenders argued they are banned to see the evidence.

The Supreme Court denied this request and the lawyers have asked for the European Court of Justice, claiming that their access to evidence is denied.

“However, I cannot avoid noticing, as deputy, that an anti-corruption prosecutors says that a law article is recommended but cannot be observed. Such allegations seems unfair. As far as I know, the motivation must be drafted in 30 days. I don’t think my action is far-fetched. I have been convicted for something that I have not been charged in the indictment. I wanted to see if that resolution is the result of participation of all panel members,” Dragnea told magistrates after almost two hours in the court room during the court hearing two weeks ago.

The motivation of the sentence was released in February this year.

Soon after that, Liviu Dragnea announced that he has begun proceedings to reopen the ‘referendum file’ by lodging an appeal to execution in court.

In the referendum file, Liviu Dragnea was charged with using his influence or authority by a person holding a managerial position in a party in order to obtain for him or for others undue benefits.

“Dragnea’s actions were to determine people to vote. The lack of turnout was seen as trifle, not as a right of the citizens. The defendant saw the voters as some objects that should be taken out of the houses and directed to polls,” the prosecutors argued during the trial.

About Alina Grigoras Butu