Ex-Health minister Sorina Pintea to be investigated at large

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Bucharest Court of Appeal has judged the appeal filed by the former Health minister Sorina Pintea against the preventive arrest measure, ruling she will be investigated at large, so on a pre-trial release, under judicial control for 60 days. It means Pintea is facing some restrictions for the next 2 months pending trial.

The former PSD minister has been brought from the arrest centre to court on Friday morning, asking judges to release her, arguing she has to be admitted in hospital due to her autoimmune disease.

She came to court without handcuffs and the court hearing took place behind closed doors.

After two hours of debates, one of the minister’s lawyers said that Sorina Pintea had dismissed the charges in the courtroom and asked judges to remove certain evidence from her file, arguing they would have been illegally obtained by investigators.

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.

In retort, the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) has taken stand, 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.

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