The Bucharest Court has rejected on Friday the replacement of the judicial control in the file regarding Marian Vanghelie, former mayor of District 5, with the arrest. The ruling comes following the request from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for arrest, claiming that the former mayor has tried to influence the witnesses. The request was registered on March 13.
A DNA prosecutor explained the charge of instigation to false testimony, as Marian Vanghelie has talked to one of the witnesses in the file, although he is under judicial control and is banned to contact witnesses. During one of the hearings, Vanghelie approached one of the witnesses, Marius Paun, on the court’s hall, and talked to him, the encounter being recorded on cameras.
“It is about influencing the trial. Before being heard, the witness says he was repeatedly approached. He even made an employment offer to the witness. (…) The defendant approached the witness on the court’s hall with a proposal for employment, if he changes his testimony,” the prosecutor said.
Vanghelie’s lawyer said the images on the camera show that the defendant had approached a machine on the court’s hall and took a bottle of water. “Then Paun comes, up the stairs. Vanghelie comes from the opposite side and one can hardly see if a discussion took place. (…) In 11 seconds not much can be said. (…) The witness says Vanghelie asked him where he works and told him he is going to open a restaurant and asked him if he wants to work there. He allegedly said a number and the witness answered ‘no’. The fact that a dialogue was carried out in 11 seconds, does not reveal that Vanghelie tried to influence the witness,” the lawyer said.
While leaving the court, Marian Vanghelie told the press he is ready to return to jail.
“Why is arrest requested? Because he came from my back, while I was taking water and 11 seconds are recorded on the camera. I didn’t ask him anything. He came from the back and said he is sorry, he had been under stress. I replied: there is a God. That’s all. The file about me is not based on this. (…) My bag is in the car. I may go one month, two month to jail. Nobody is going to die. I’ve got experience. Anyway, with me or without me, there will come a time for these people to be responsible. (…) They (the prosecutors – our note), by conducting this kind of terror, scare the witnesses, scare everyone, scare the courts. (…) I am a hooligan, I’m not scared,” Vanghelie said.
Marian Vanghelie is prosecuted by the DNA since July 2015, charged with abuse of office, bribe taking and money laundering, some of the deeds committed to favour businessman Marin Dumitru in concluding contracts.
According to the indictment, during 2006-2014, Marian Vanghelie, as mayor of District 5 Bucharest, with the support of Mircea-Sorin Niculae and in part by Maura Ciocan, requested and received from Marin Dumitru undue benefits amounting to about EUR 30,403,000, as ‘commission’ of 20% of the receipts.