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Romania Transport minister could be subjected to criminal inquiry over car accident

de A. Comanciu     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 19 decembrie 2007, 14:22 English | Top News

Ludovic Orban
Foto: Rompres
Romanian Transport minister Ludovic Orban, brother to European Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban, could be subjected to a criminal inquiry as the Romanian police on Wednesday passed to prosecutors the file of an accident in which the minister was involved on Sunday. The news comes as footage of the accident was broadcast by a TV news station on Wednesday afternoon and claims intensified that the member of the government lied repeatedly in preliminary statements about the accident.

One such alleged lie relates to the fact that minister Orban, as well as police representatives had first dismissed claims that a girl was hurt in the police accident. The information was first made public by a Romanian blog, Gramos, the authors of which have since received threats on their wordpress blog.

The blog quoted witnesses to the accident who said a girl was hurt and that the minister appeared to be drunk. Mainstream media referred to the case only a day later, as the minister, who first refused to admit that a girl was wounded in the accident, showed up at the police hours after the legal 24 hour deadline for him to do so expired.

Romanian news station Realitatea TV broadcast on Wednesday afternoon images of minister Orban at the crash scene. The images were sent to a newspaper by a person living in the vicinity.

Bucharest Police Chief, Marian Tutilescu told Romanian news agency NewsIn on Wednesday morning that the police would send the file to the prosecutors to start investigating the case if the victim will press charges.

The victim of the accident, a teenager, has been identified and faced police hearings this morning. Her father and minister Orban had been insisting, though, that the girl's arm wound had nothing to do with the car crash.

According to procedures, once the victim is identified, a complaint can be submitted. In this case, Ludovic Orban could be investigated by prosecutors. However, if no complaint is made and the police determines that the victim was not injured, Ludovic Orban will be set free of any doubt.

Interior Minister Cristian David said that he summoned police officers to check whether all legal procedures were respected.
























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