Magistrates of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) have acquitted Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu in the file where he was charged with perjury. The ruling is final and it confirms the previous Supreme Court’s ruling in May last year. There was yet a separate opinion asking for a re-trial of the case.
Anti-corruption prosecutors had asked that Tariceanu should be sentenced to three years in prison.
The Senate Speaker, also ALDE leader, has stated that the ruling can only make him happy, yet adding his joy is partial and that he has been subdued to a huge public pressure.
“Of course, such a decision can only make me happy, but my joy is partial, for, indeed, after the avatars I have been going through starting 2015- taken to the prosecutor’s office, in court, with a huge public pressure on me, which affected all those around me, all this ordeal has ended today. My joy is shadowed by the fact I know many people who were or are in the same situation and their trials are not over yet,” Tariceanu told Antena 3 private broadcaster. He gave the example of former Liberal leader Dan Radu Rusanu who saw his “entire professional and political career destroyed”.
Tariceanu’s party, ALDE, also reacted, saying that judges have thus confirmed Tariceanu’s innocence. “The ruling today in ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s case proves that we have judges who act independently and resist existing pressures”, ALDE said in a Facebook post.
On the other hand, former Democrat Liberal minister of Tourism, Elena Udrea, also prosecuted in several corruption files, currently fled in Costa Rica, posted on Facebook that Tariceanu’s final acquittal has been pronounced by a Supreme Court’s judge panel that is not controlled by the Romanian Intelligence Service, adding that the Senate Speaker had this chance.
However, Udrea said that Tariceanu’s revolt, voiced on TV shows, against the abuses by the parallel state, is a “hypocrite one”, as long as his speech, “very well grounded, correct and coherent” has had no consequence in the past years. “For instance, the most eloquent example, he has not asked a basic thing to ALDE minster, Tudorel Toader: to do justice to those sentenced by the 5-judge panels that the Constitutional Court ruled as being illegal”.
National Anti-corruption Directorate prosecutors indicted Calin Popescu Tariceanu about the statements made as a witness in the retrocession file of a land in Snagov Forest and of Baneasa farm, in which are judged Prince Paul, Remus Truica, Tal Silberstein and Dan Andronic.
Tariceanu was indicted for crimes of perjury and of favouring the offender.
The indictment drawn up by the anti-corruption prosecutors shows that, within the investigation framework conducted to clarify the case regarding the allegedly illegal restitution of land in Snagov Forest and of Baneasa Farm, Tariceanu made, under oath, on April 15, 2016, inaccurate statements about the essential aspects of the file on which he had been asked and did not say everything he knows about essential circumstances, aiming thereby to prevent/hinder the defendants’ criminal responsibility in the file.
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu is accused of making untrue statements and of not saying everything he knows about the relationship he had with the defendants Tal Silberstein, Dan Catalin Andronic and Remus Truică, about the meetings and discussions with the latter on notary fees regarding the trading of buildings and about the manner of acquisition and capitalizing the claimed assets.