Supreme Court refers to the Court of Justice of the EU the ‘Bute Gala’ file, trial procedures suspended

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The 5-judge panel with the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) has decided to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) three preliminary questions in regard to the trial of ‘Bute Gala’ file – Elena Udrea.

The court procedures have been suspended.

The ruling is final, approved by majority of 3 of the 5 judges, reports.

The sentence may be challenged by appeal only on suspension of the trial.

The questions are meant to clear the priority for the trials concerning European funds frauds: the Constitutional Court decision or the European legislation?

It is about the lawsuit in which former Tourism Minister Elena Udrea and other defenders in the ‘Bute Gala’ file have challenged the final sentence of 6 years imprisonment, based on the Constitutional Court’s decision on the establishment of the 5-judge panels.

The magistrates judging the ‘Bute Gala’ – Elena Udrea file have raised this issue last month, ex-officio, given that Elena Udrea is also charged in the file of attempt to use documents and false or inaccurate statements in order to unlawfully obtain European funds.

The High Court sentenced in June 2018 former Tourism Minister Elena Udrea to six years and four months imprisonment in the ‘Bute Gala’ file. Rudel Obreja was sentenced to five years in prison. The sentences were final.

At the latest hearings on May 9, a prosecutor demanded the admission of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) appeal and the increased sentences received in first court by Elena Udrea and former President of the Romanian Boxing Federation (FRB) Rudel Obeja, but also by the other defendants.

On March 29, 2017, Elena Udrea was sentenced to six years imprisonment with execution in the ‘Bute Gala’ file for bribery and abuse of office.

The court also ruled that Elena Udrea is to pay the amount of RON 8,116,800 as civil damages to the National Tourism Authority. Rudel Obreja is to pay RON 737,507 to the Finance Ministry as civil damages, plus interest and penalties.


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