Verdict postponed on Dragnea’s appeal in the referendum file.

Verdict postponed on Dragnea’s appeal in the referendum file.

Lawyers want European Court of Justice notified

Update: The High Court of Cassation and Justice postponed a verdict in this case, with the final ruling to be announced on April 24.

Chairman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea is challenging the sentence of two years on probation in the referendum file on Monday.

Dragnea was subpoenaed at the High Court of Cassation and Justice on Monday. The PSD chairman argues that the motivation of his sentence was signed by other judges than the ones who had sentenced him to two years on probation. He stated before entering the hearing that he hopes judges will rule in his favor.

Moreover, his lawyers have asked for the notification of the European Court of Justice after the Supreme Court had rejected their request for an IT expertize on ECRIS system from which the motivation in the Referendum case had been drafted. Dragnea’s defenders argued they are banned to see the evidence.

Initially, the lawyers have asked during the Mondya’s hearing an IT expertize to probe into the ECRIS system, the application used by the law courts for the electronic management of the files. The lawyers claimed there are suspicions that the sentence motivation hasn’t been drafted in 30 days. Dragnea’s lawyers have also asked for the copies of the retirement requests filed by judges Livia Stanciu and Luminita Zglimbea.

The Supreme Court denied this request and the lawyers have asked for the European Court of Justice, claiming that their access to evidence is denied.

As for Dragnea, he told magistrates of the Supreme Court during Monday’s hearing that he is “just an engineer” and that he is out of the judicial debates’ depth.

“However, I cannot avoid noticing, as deputy, that an anti-corruption prosecutors says that a law article is recommended but cannot be observed. Such allegations seems unfair. As far as I know, the motivation must be drafted in 30 days. I don’t think my action is far-fetched. I have been convicted for something that I have not been charged in the indictment. I wanted to see if that resolution is the result of participation of all panel members,” Dragnea told magistrates after almost two hours in the court room.

The motivation of the sentence was released in February this year.

Soon after that, Liviu Dragnea announced that he has begun proceedings to reopen the ‘referendum file’ by lodging an appeal to execution in court.

Social-democrat President Liviu Dragnea was sentenced in April 2016 to two years of probation in the referendum file – the decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Supreme Court) being final.

Judges have motivated that a sentence on probation is enough, considering that Dragnea has no antecedents. However, the said that they have increased the sentence form one year to two years on probation because of the PSD chair’s attitude, to deny the charges during trial.

In retort, Dragnea said at the time that the sentence is ‘profoundly unjust’.

In the referendum file Dragnea was accused of using his influence or authority by a person holding a managerial position in a party in order to obtain for him or for others undue benefits.

“Dragnea’s actions were to determine people to vote. The lack of turnout was seen as trifle, not as a right of the citizens. The defendant saw the voters as some objects that should be taken out of the houses and directed to polls,” the prosecutors argued during the trial./IBNA