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Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, before the High Court of Cassation and Justice under the accusation of abuse of office

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Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD, main ruling) Liviu Dragnea, who appeared on Wednesday before the High Court of Cassation and Justice, said that his indictment by the anti-corruption agency on charges of incitement to abuse of office in the Teleorman Social Assistance and Child Protection Directorate General (DGASPC) case lacks evidence and is only based on claims, gossip and rumors.

Dragnea, who is also Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, filed on Wednesday in court a defendant's statement in the case where the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) accuses him of intervening for DGASPC Teleorman employees Adriana Botorogeanu and Anisa Stoica to collect wage benefits despite knowing that the two were actually working at the PSD Teleorman branch organization.

"I have read the file, the indictment, the statements, the transcripts, and I tell you in all honesty that I have been sent to court without any evidence, only based on claims, gossip, rumors heard over a drink ... I cannot get it why I was sent to court. There is no evidence. DNA is simply after me," Dragnea told the magistrates.

For two hours, Dragnea invoked legal provisions, referenced the statements of the other defendants in the case and professed his innocence.

He explained the magistrates the context in which he met Anisa Stoica and denied having asked the Director of DGASPC Teleorman, Floarea Alesu, to keep the two employees on the payroll, stating that he had no idea that they were not reporting to work at DGASPC Teleorman, as no one had informed him about that. "It is true I used to see the two at the party offices, once or twice a month, when we held the standing bureau meetings. (...) They are now high-profile public figures, but back then they were just nondescript Alexandria locals," Dragnea said.

Insisting that head of DGASPC Teleorman Floarea Alesu never informed him that Adriana Botorogeanu and Anisa Stoica were collecting salary without reporting to work, Dragnea stated that he was indicted only based on gossip and hearsay. He also cited recent rumors in the city of Alexandria according to which the two were promised a lighter sentence or even more, if they help get him in hot water. 

"I'm not sure whether what has come to my ears is real or not. (...) Floarea Alesu claimed that she had discussed with me and also let another two people know - former Teleorman County Council Vice-President and President Vlad Eugen and Mircea Dumitrescu, respectively, although they did not confirm this. It's impossible for everyone to lie and only Floarea Alesu to tell the truth," Liviu Dragnea said.



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