Interpol Costa Rice chief, Gustavo Chinchilla, said Thursday evening that former tourism minister, Elena Udrea, was taken into custody from the Sabana Oeste area in San Jose city, based on a warrant for corruption and abuse of office. In turn, former DIICOT chief, Alina Bica, was taken into custody for offenses associated with corruption, Diario Extra newspaper informs.
The two Romanian women have been placed under remand for two months In Costa Rica, a period during which the extradition procedure will be analysed.
The Costa Rican Prosecutor General’s Office, the bureau for international relations, has informed that the procedure is to analyse separately Romania’s requests for extradition for Elena Udrea and Alina Bica, CRhoy.com reports. The operation of taking them into custody was carried out based on an arrest warrant issued by Romanian authorities through Interpol Bucharest.
Gustavo Chinchilla said that usually the Government requesting the extradition has two months to complete the documentation. He confirmed there is a request for asylum from the persons under remand, the request will be solved in order to decide upon extradition.
The Interpol Costa Rica chief said the issues related to family do not represent obstacles for extradition.
Udrea appeals against preventive arrest
Elena Udrea has filed an appeal against the Costa Rican court’s decision to place her under remand for two months, her lawyer, Veronel Rădulescu said, pointing out that the Interpol chief’s statements do not have legal value.
“The appeal has already been filed, as far as I know, it is to be judged in the coming days. (…) All other aspects will be invoked, such as the refugee status in Costa Rica, the status of a young mother who must raise a child of Costa Rican citizenship. (…) The request for preventive arrest was based on an international arrest warrant. The extradition request could not have been judged yesterday. Yesterday it was only the form in which it will be presented further on. (…) I do not know whether the state will be able to send these documents (for extradition),” said lawyer Veronel Rădulescu.
Regarding the Interpol Costa Rica chief’s statements, Radulescu said “his statements do not have, for me, judicial value, as the court rulings. It is a matter of interpretation. I’ve heard that an impediment for extradition could be a Costa Rican child with a Costa Rican father. The analysis will be conducted on the entire defence of the file,” he added.
Costa Rican judge says child cannot be extradited together with mother
Costa Rican judge, Celso Gamboa, has explained in an interview for Atntena 3 TV private broadcaster, the chances for extradition in the case of Elena Udrea.
“The political refugee status can offer her the possibility to remain in Costa Rica. We should know the reasons for which Costa Rica might grant the political refugee status. If a person has taken refuge here and Costa Rica offers protection, she cannot be extradited. It is a complicated situation. It the child’s father, the child’s family is here, in Costa Rica, the child can remain here. But in the case in which his family is not here, in Costa Rica, then the country has an institution that could care for the child. The child cannot be extradited along with his mother, because she is Costa Rican,” the judge said.
Businessman delivers information on Udrea’s and Bica’s detention
Businessman Cornel Tabacaru, living in Costa Rica, says Elena Udrea and Alina Bica have been accommodated in the same cell, in the better wing of the prison. A local women prisoner is also accommodated in the same room.
“They’ve been accommodated in the better part of the prison. There it is just like in ‘Narcos’. They are staying together with a women prisoner from San Jose, sentenced for fraud, her husband is a good friend of one of our acquaintances. In this way we’ve got in touch right away,” Tabacaru said.
He added Udrea and Bica have lived together for some time, then, after a conflict, they lived in separate flats. The conflict arose as Bica was dissatisfied by Udrea’s public appearances. They have become closer again when Udrea’s pregnancy advanced.
“Bica disagreed with Udrea’s relations with VIVA magazine, with the pictures, but she was there when Udrea gave birth. She brought her to the hospital, the birth took place five weeks earlier. Udrea’s boyfriend, Adrian, arrived four days ago together with her mother,” the businessman said.
file photo: Elena Udrea and Alina Bica