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Court rejects Rompetrol head arrest

Vineri, 24 februarie 2006, 0:00

The Bucharest Tribunal rejected Friday the request to issue an arrest warrant on the name of Rompetrol head Dinu Patriciu, investigated for alleged embezzlement and stock exchange abuses. After more than six hours of fiery debates, the Court ruled in Patriciu's favour accepting one of the five exceptions procedure- related invoked by the Defense lawyers.

The court ruled its verdict after long debates, while prosecutors asked Rompetrol case judge Maria Tripadus to be recused on grounds that she was biased against Dinu Patriciu. The Bucharest Tribunal rejected the request, Tripadus judged over Patriciu’s arrest.

The Defense invoked five exceptions aimed at rejecting the arrest request as not the Court's competency to decide.

Transactions with shares of Rompetrol Rafinare, part of the Rompetrol group, were blocked early in the day pending the court decision.

The move was an usual decision as quotas cannot be influenced by external factors such as a possible arrest warrant related to a listed company, according to Bucharest Stock Exchange procedures.

Rompetrol shares reached a record low earlier this week before a slight recovery yesterday.

An preventive arrest warrant was requested February 16 when judges decided to decide on the issue March 3. They then opted to set the date at February 24.

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