The High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) has postponed a final verdict in Liviu Dragnea’s trial, where he is facing a sentence of three years and a half in prison for abuse of office for hiring two PSD members as civil servants at the Child Protection Authority in Teleorman county without the two women actually going to work.
The judges delayed their ruling for May 27, the next day after EP elections. In retort, Dragnea’s lawyers asked for their client to be acquitted as he is innocent. However, DNA prosecutor has asked that defendants, including Dragnea, should be sentenced to more years in prison.
The postponement comes after the supreme court magistrates had yet dismissed all requests filed by Dragnea’s lawyers, including the request for a new delay, stating this is the last court hearing. However despite this is the last hearing for the closing arguments and the hearing of the defendants and witnesses, the judge chairing the panel mentioned that the final ruling is not pronounced today.
“We find impossible to prove that Liviu Dragnea was no kind of God, as the key witness claimed (e.n. he referred to Floarea Alesu, also defendant in his file, who said he could do nothing about the two women illegally employed at the Child Protection Authority as Dragnea was in command). Please, admit our appeal, to abolish the sentence and order the acquittal and to stop the criminal trial on the charge of instigation to forgery,” lawyer Marian Nazat said, claiming the statute of limitation for the charge of instigation to forgery ran out and that Dragnea doesn’t want the criminal trial to continue.
On the other hand, the lawyer of defendant Floarea Alesu complained in court about the late hour of this trial.
The High Court has also rejected the constitutional challenge over the three-judge panel, the requests to refer the Constitutional Court but also the request for a trial postponement until after the CCR ruling on the specialised judge panels, which has been postponed today for June 5.
On the other camp, the anti-corruption prosecutor has asked during the hearing today higher penalties for the defendants in Dragnea’s file. „We ask for penalties up to the average threshold, not up to the minimum one”, the DNA prosecutor argued, while for Dragnea the prosecutor requested that he should be also sentenced for instigation to forgery. DNA asked that Dragnea should be imprisoned for seven years, and not for 3 years and a half, as he had been convicted in the first court.
Yet, DNA dropped requests to refer CCR and also the request for a swift of legal categorisation in the case of three defendants, including Dragnea.
The Anti-corruption body has also changed the session prosecutor in the PSD leader’s trial. If Raluca Mirica was prosecutor in the previous court hearing, now she was replaced by Elena Grecu, who also ran for the DNA chief prosecutor seat.