Puiu Popoviciu (photo) has hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh as lawyer, who states in a communiqué that he is ‘deeply disappointed’ by the verdict of the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Romania to sentence the businessman to 7 years in jail, as ‘the sentence and conviction are not supported by either the facts or the law,’ hotnews.ro informs.
The communiqué released by Louis J. Freeh, who manages the law company Freeh Group International Solutions:
“I am deeply disappointed in the recent decision of Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice to affirm the criminal conviction of Romanian businessman, Gabriel Popoviciu, and sentence him to seven years in prison. This sentence and conviction are not supported by either the facts or the law.
In July 2016, I was retained to conduct an independent review of Mr. Popoviciu’s conviction before the Romanian Court of Appeals. I conducted that review with the assistance of a team of experienced former federal prosecutors and former FBI Special Agents, one of whom speaks Romanian fluently.
Our team thoroughly reviewed the evidence presented against Mr. Popoviciu at trial, including documentary evidence and surreptitious tape-recordings of his conversations. That review documented numerous factual and legal deficiencies in the case against Mr. Popoviciu. For example, the prosecution’s main witness, who repeatedly but unsuccessfully attempted to make Mr. Popoviciu incriminate himself using secret recordings, admitted in court that he was not bribed by Mr. Popoviciu — with the alleged bribe including two bottles of liquor and corporate promotional materials (such as a pen, notebook, and calendars). The former Minister of Education, as well as other witnesses, testified that the Baneasa land parcel was never a publicly owned asset and therefore cannot support the legal charge of abuse of position. Many other serious factual and legal deficiencies, inconsistent with fundamental principles of the rule of law, were also highlighted in my report.
I am hopeful that courts and reviewing authorities will review this case and decide that justice and the rule of law demand another result”.
Businessman Puiu Popoviciu was sentenced last Wednesday, by the High Court for Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) to 7 years in jail, in the file in which he is accused of corruption deeds regarding the association between his company, SC Baneasa Investments SA and the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest (USAMV), for a plot of land of 224 hectares. The ruling is final.
Popoviciu was sentenced in the first court to 9 years in jail in the same file.
Popoviciu was not found at his domicile by police the next day. A national warrant was issued on Thursday. Police sources claim that Popoviciu has allegedly fled the country in June and Police has requested the issuance of a European warrant on his name.