Anti-corruption prosecutors explain decision to handcuff ex-minister following Sorina Pintea’s complains

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The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) has reacted on Thursday in the case of the footage with handcuffed Sorina Pintea, former Health minister, taken from the arrest to the hospital, arguing the duties in managing these situations are exclusively the task of the institution that has the arrested person in custody, in this case the Police.
According to DNA, neither the case prosecutor nor the policemen within DNA, have no duties in transporting and escorting the person who is under preventive arrest. Moreover, “after the person is arrested the prosecutors cannot and are not entitled to intervene in any way in the procedures carried out in the arrest centre (for instance the transports to the doctor or the packages inmates receive from home).”

“The duties in managing these situations are exclusively held by the institution where the detained person is in custody. We underline that, during the time the defendant was held by DNA, there was no such footage released in the public space”, the anti-corruption body also says.

Last weekend, Bucharest Tribunal has placed former Health minister Sorina Pintea under preventive arrest for 30 days. She is charged with taking bribe of EUR 10,000 and RON 120,00.

While under bars, Sorina Pintea complained of health problems caused by her autoimmune disease. The former minister says she is suffering of dermatomyositis, a rare and serious autoimmune disease, for which she needs treatment with cortisone and immunoglobulin.

Pintea claimed she is not well and thus she has asked to be taken from the arrest centre to hospital twice so far, on Saturday and on Tuesday.

Pintea’s lawyers filed a complained to the Arrest Centre no 1 in Bucharest, reclaiming that the former minister had several rights violated, that she was exposed to the media, that she was taken handcuffed to the hospital and that she was pushed by an escort police agent.

“It is not human to let a person suffering of a serious disease without specialised and permanent medical assistance”, reads a message posted on Sorina Pintea’s Facebook page.

The post is signed by “Sorina’s team” and says that “humiliation and human torture should disappear from the Romanians’ eyes”.

“Justice must be served and that’s it. It is inhuman to let a person suffering of a serious disease, who is jeopardizing her life every moment, without permanent specialised medical assistance. Where is the social danger as against the humiliation and the medical threat? Let’s not forget that Romanian children also see that. Humiliation and human torture should disappear from the Romanians’ eyes. Nobody established that Sorina Pinte is guilty. That’s enough! Truth will eventually win!”, reads the post.

Ombudsman Renate Weber announced the institution had been notified ex-officio in Sorina Pintea’s case and will ask further explanations to the Police.

In his turn, Interior minister Marcel Vela also announced he ordered a check to probe into the way policemen have acted in transporting Sorina Pintea from the arrest centre to the hospital.

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