Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) requested approval on Wednesday afternoon for the preventive arrest of Elena Udrea, a prominent politician best known for her serving as Development and Tourism minister in 2009-2012 and for running in the 2014 presidential election, when she was supported by then-president Traian Basescu. DNA requested approval for her arrest in a case in which she is accused of bribe taking in the organisation of a sports event when she served as minister. Shortly after the announcement, DNA requested another approval to arrest Udrea in two separate cases, charging her with bribe taking and traffic of influence.
DNA first called for approval of arrest in a case related to the organisation of a boxing match gala, an extensive case revolving around the misuse of funds controlled by the Regional Development and Tourism Ministry when she served as minister of Development in 2010-2012. The inquiry in this case was expanded to include Udrea, the DNA has announced. In this case, she is accused of bribery and her arrest is requested over charges related to abuse in office, attempted use of false statements to obtain EU funds and bribery.
Later in the afternoon, DNA called for a second arrest warrant against Udrea, this time in the so-called "Microsoft case" in which she was first placed under judiciary control last week - see more on this case here. In this case, related to a government contract involving Microsoft licenses, she is accused of traffic of influence.
- Prosecutors say that Udrea exceeded the limits of judiciary control with her statements made in a series of interviews - including one with HotNews.ro - over the past several days, when she made a long series of serious allegations regarding links between the intelligence services, top politicians and influential business people in Romania.
But this second arrest warrant also relates to an accusation that she demanded and received a bribe amounting to 500,000 euro for solving a series of judiciary issues of a business person, in a separate case.
Elena Udrea intervened in a TV talk show on Wednesday afternoon, rejecting claims that she took bribes and other charges against her. She pointed out that nobody turned to her in the four years since the organisation of the so-called Bute Gala, the sports event organized when she served as minister. And she said she would address all embassies to Bucharest to point out that this was what she called the result of her fight with the interim head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), whom she accuses of influencing justice and political decision making.