The Cluj Court has ruled on Wednesday to release on parole the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Monica Iacob Ridzi, sentenced to five years in prison for abuse of office.
The Cluj Court’s ruling confirms the decision of the Gherla Court and thus Monica Iacob Ridzi is to leave the Cluj-Napoca Section of the Gherla Penitentiary on Wednesday.
Judicial sources say the magistrates have rejected the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) challenge of the conditional release and decided to uphold the Gherla court sentence and have ordered the former minister’s immediate release.
Monica Iacob Ridzi said in court that she would withdraw from public life.
“I’ve prayed every day, to God, to withstand, I had no preferential treatment, I worked along with the others in cleaning and serving meals, and I have respected all the regulations in the penitentiary. It was enormously difficult for me, but the thought of being with the children saved me,” she said.
In his turn, lawyer Tiberiu Ban said that Monica Iacob Ridzi served 1,010 days of imprisonment, i.e. more than two-thirds of the sentence, the level required to be able to request release on parole.
“There are 15 diseases, of which 14 are confirmed by expertise, she benefited from 25 rewards, scientific work, exemplary behaviour, has never been sanctioned,” Tiberiu Ban said.
On October 27, the Gherla Court ruled that Monica Iacob Ridzi may be released on parole from the Gherla Penitentiary, but the DNA prosecutors have filed an appeal to the higher court.
Monica Iacob Ridzi was convicted by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) in February 2015 to five years in prison for abuse of office.
She was found guilty after DNA prosecutors accused her of paying fictitious services to preferential companies in 2009, leading to USD 600,000 damage to the Tourism Ministry.