The High Court of Cassation and Justice is resuming on Monday the file on the fictitious hiring in Teleorman Child Protection Services where ruling party’s chairman, Liviu Dragnea, is sentenced to three years and a half in prison.
PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea has announced through his lawyers during the Monday’s hearing that he would like to be heard before judges. Anti-corruption prosecutors have also for Dragnea’s hearing.
Olguţa Şefu, former deputy executive director of the Teleorman General Directorate for Social Welfare ad Child Protection, has also announced her desire to be heard in court.
The High Court magistrates will judge these requests, as well as other calls for more evidence, on March 18.
Dragnea’s appeal to this sentence has started five months later due to the scandal of the five-judge panels.
Now, the defendants will be asked if they want to make new statements before the court, new witnesses can be heard and part of them can be heard again, new documents can be filed and new legal reports can be required.
Since September 2018 when it was challenged by appeal, this file has been delayed five times following controversies on setting up the five-judge panels of the High Court.
The panel judging Dragnea now consists of judges Simona Daniela Encean, Tatiana Lucia Rog, Alexandra Iuliana Rus, Luciana Mera and Rodica Aida Popa.
On June 21, 2018, the chairman of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for instigation to abuse of office in the fictitious hiring file, while his former wife, Bombonica Prodana, prosecuted in the same case, was acquitted.
According to the indictment, during July 2006-December 2012, Liviu Dragnea, as leader of the Teleorman county council and the leader of the PSD county branch, made the former executive director of the Social Assistance Direction in Teleorman County, on purpose, to break her office duties and maintain and pay two women employed in her institution. In fact, the two women were not working there, but at the party organization.
In September last year, the judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) released the reasoning for sentencing PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment, arguing that he had an unlawful, antisocial and immoral conduct, in disagreement with the rank of public dignity – Chairman of the Teleorman County Council.