Assets of Liviu Dragnea and the other defendants in the Tel Drum case seized

22 nov. 2017 English Section
A.S. (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Assets of Liviu Dragnea and the other defendants in the Tel Drum case seized

Dragnea: "Those who are against me are hiding behind institutions" 

The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, leader of the PSD, thinks that his enemies are hiding behind some institutions, "they crucify people", and the real stake is "the blocking of the Laws concerning the Justice system".

The suspects in the "Tel Drum" were expected on Wednesday at the headquarters of the National AntiCorruption Department to acknowledge the seizure imposed by the investigators in this case, according to some judicial sources.

The politician said: "I see it as very interesting (the seizure of the DNA - ed. note), meaning that we still believed and some of us still believe that we can become a normal country where you don't find out these things from the media - information coming from sources, not through unofficial and illegal channels. I was made a scapegoat in the 2012 referendum because somebody's honorability had to be preserved for the two million stolen votes, after 7.4 million Romanians voted for nothing, we have come to the point where you got convicted for some SMSs being sent by the party and in fact people actually went out to vote, I was made a target every time the PSD wanted to do something important for Romania. Now I am being used as a means of blocking the laws concerning the judicial system and by whom?

By the people who are hiding. I am the president of the Chamber of Deputies, but I am just a man. I am the president of the PSD, but I'm still just a man, but nevertheless I am a man with a face, who speaks out publicly, meaning I am out in the open, while those who are against me are hiding behind some institutions and they crucify people, but, as we have agreed in the CExN, I told my colleagues to ignore all these actions taken against me and to follow the course we have decided on during the electoral campaign, aside from the economic measures and the measures to create justice in the country".

He said that at this rate, after the asset seizure, the next step could be the "seizure of life itself": "There is nothing I can be blackmailed with, but we will have plenty of time to talk about this. (...) You will find out from the DNA, because they give out all the information".

On November 13, the DNA announced that the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, was being prosecuted by anti-corruption prosecutors for the creation of a criminal faction, abuse in office and financial fraud, allegedly committed in the "Tel Drum" case as president of the County Council of Teleorman. Other eight individuals are being prosecuted for similar deeds.

The prosecutors claim that using his political position Liviu Dragnea accessed significant contracts using public money. He actually defrauded European grants, meaning that part of the earnings of ¢TelDrum¢, returned to his own pockets. The estimated loss is 21 million Euros and 30 million lei.

This is the first time the connection of Liviu Dragnea to TelDrum is officially acknowledged. TelDrum had a direct path to public contracts and funding, including European funds, which were allegedly won fraudulently.

Prosecutors are saying about TelDrum that it was privatized in the beginning of 2000, for Liviu Drangea to get control of the company through proxies. He allegedly had several people close from the County Council and businesspeople.

The second step made by the president of the County Council of Teleorman was to buy a very expensive road asphalting machine, which cost 30 million lei. Then the prosecutors say he assigned it to TelDrum, which won several contracts for the rehabilitation of county roads, as it was the only one that had that kind of machine. According to Ştirile Pro TV, the prosecutors claim that Dragnea and other eight of his close friends rigged the calls for tenders, changed the bidding briefs and padded the bills. The head of the PSD is also being suspected of having placed in key positions in the central administration collaborators who would have access to confidential information about contracts and funding.

Part of the earnings then returned to the Dragnea and in the form of donations to the Social Democrat Party. Valentin Dragnea allegedly received money, including an expensive car which his father's partners improved. Bombonica, the former wife of Dragnea, received the right of use of a building, while Liviu Dragnea allegedly received 2.5 million lei himself, in just 12 months. Liviu Dragnea maintains he is innocent.

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