Anti-corruption prosecutors ask jail sentence for minister Dragnea in referendum file

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Anti-corruption prosecutors have asked on Wednesday that Social Democrat top leader Liviu Dragnea, also minister of Regional Development and Tourism, should get a jail sentence in the referendum file, arguing the witnesses brought to testify for Dragnea talked with him before the hearings in order to agree on their statements.

The Romanian Supreme Court held final debates on this file. The case was registered in October 2013.

Liviu Dragnea and other 74 persons were prosecuted. Dragnea, PSD secretary general, was prosecuted for using his influence or authority as party leader to obtain undue benefits.

Investigators claim that Dragnea was supported in defrauding the referendum for the president impeachment in 2012 by 74 leaders and members of several polling stations in Teleorman, Vrancea, Gorj and Olt counties. They were all prosecuted for forging the electoral documents and introducing an additional number of ballot papers in the ballot box.

Before the final hearings on Wednesday, Dragnea expressed hope he would be acquitted.

“I hope I will be acquitted, for I haven’t found any evidence in the indictment that should prove that I would have committed the crimes I was prosecuted for,” the Tourism minister said.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice had yet to rule on referendum file, deciding to give a final ruling on May 6.

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