Romanian Judge Who jailed Corrupt Billionaire Media Mogul is Suspended – Seeking Justice for herself

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(London Post – PR): –     Mrs. Camelia Bogdan, the judge, expert of the European Commission in Asset recovery of proceeds of crime, visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London is excluded from the Romanian Magistracy for training State Public OFFICIALS in order to protect the financial interests of the European Union according to Press statement issued by her below.

Camelia Bogdan, the judge who sentenced to jail media mogul Dan Voiculescu and ruled on the confiscation of the damages in the ICA file, worth 60 million euro, and of the proceeds of the crime, of nearly 40 million euro,  is accused of having received a fee of 10,000 lei in 2014, while she was judging media mogul Dan Voiculescu; the funds came from the World Bank, through a training company and she taught anti-fraud courses for the APIA staff, an agency subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, which was the damaged party in the lawsuit against Voiculescu that she was judging.

On the 8th of February 2017, Camelia Bogdan, a judge from the Bucharest Court of Appeal, was excluded from the Romanian Magistracy.

(https://www.juridice.ro/493134/csm-hotarat-excluderea-din-magistratura-jud-dr-camelia-bogdan.html,

The pretext deems to raise an outrageous anxiety among the judicial community: she was a lecturer in the anti-corruption and protection the financial interest of as part of a E.U. project for “The application of the future common agricultural policy. Prevention of fraud and corruption in order to protect the financial interests of the European Union” and therefore considered incompatible by the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy. (see for details: 11/02/17, Romania Libera, Editorial by Sabina Fati: Why they want to kick Camelia Bogdan out of the magistracy.

http://romanialibera.ro/opinii/editorial/cine-vrea-sa-o-distruga-pe-camelia-bogdan-408183)

In common parlance, Mrs. Camelia Bogdan was excluded for training the State Public OFFICIALS from Romania, one of the most corrupt countries in the European Union, in order to protect the financial interests of the European Union.  Judge Camelia Bogdan appealed to the High Court of Cassation and Justice from Romania the ruling of the judges section on a disciplinary matter of the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy. An audience has not been established yet in the file no.869/1/2017, presided by the Hon. Judge Cristina Iuliana TARCEA, President of the Romanian Court of Cassation and Justice

(http://www.scj.ro/1094/Detalii-dosar?customQuery%5B0%5D.Key=id&customQuery%5B0%5D.Value=100000000309773).

Suspended from magistracy, Mrs. Camelia Bogdan is not entitled, according to Romanian Legislation, to any financial remedy nor is she entitled to social assurance services if she gets ill until the Supreme Court will pronounce a final decision in her case.

Dan Voiculescu, one of the richest men in Romania, with a fortune estimated at 1.5 – 1.6 billion euros, according to Top 300 Richest Romanian People launched by the Capital magazine on October 2009 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Voiculescu),. found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison for money laundering by a panel presided by Mrs. Camelia Bogdan from the Bucharest Court of Appeal in August 2014.

(http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-esential-21792788-noua-cerere-liberare-conditionata-lui-dan-voiculescu-judecata-8-iunie.htm?nomobile=)

is applying for a new hearing for conditional release, after executing a mere  third of his punishment, the damages of the 60 MIL EUR he was condemned to pay through the final decision 888 pronounced by the Bucharest Court of Appeal the 8th of August 2014 have not being recovered(http://www.capital.ro/marile-dosare-de-coruptie-cat-a-recuperat-statul-din-prejudicii.html).

In addition, the Romanian Ministry of Justice prepares to modify the Criminal Procedure in the order to return his assets (http://revista22.ro/70262927/cum-sunt-salvate-averile-penalilor-de-modificrile-la-codul-penal.html)

According with the decision 888 pronounced by the Bucharest Court of Appeal the 8TH of August 2014 (published on

http://idrept.ro/DocumentView.aspx?DocumentId=77830934, consulted through  http://www.rolii.ro/)  Mr Dan Voiculescu is the beneficial owner of the Crescent Maritime Ltd, established in Cyprus, an off-shore company controlled until 1990 by the Securitate, Romania’s communist-era internal intelligence service (http://www.danbadea.net/tag/crescent-comercial-maritime-cyprus/_

The Intact Media Group, the media empire founded by Dan Voiculescu, which includes several major television stations (most notably Antena 1 and Antena 3), radio stations, as well as top newspapers and magazines (most notably Jurnalul Naţional and Gazeta Sporturilor) was established with the funds from Crescent.  According to the investigations carried out by journalist Razvan SAVALIUC in early 2000(http://www.ziua.ro/display.php?id=44881&data=2000-06-05,

https://pmdv.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/razvan-savaliuc),

400 Million Dollars existing in Crescent accounts in December 1989 remained at the disposal of Mr Dan Voiculescu.

Through the final decision of Bucharest Court of Appeal, Mrs. Bogdan disposed the recovery of 100 Million EUR from Mr. Dan derived from the FRAUDULENT PRIVATIZATION OF THE FOOD RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ICA).

Mrs Camelia Bogdan and her colleague Mihai Alexandru Mihalcea also deposed the following:

Convictions:

–    businessman Dan Voiculescu:  sentenced to 10 years in prison for ML, the EUR 60 M prejudice for using his political influence to buy the Food Research Institute for 100,000 euros ($135,000) — a fraction of its estimated value of 7.7 million euros ($10.3 million).

  • a final 8-year prison sentence on Gheorghe Mencinicopshi, former director general and member of the General Assembly of Shareholders and subsequently of the Board of the Bucharest Food Research Institute (ICA), in connection to the case involving the privatisation of the Institute.
  • Sorin Pantis, former executive director general of Grivco Voiculescu and Co. Industrial Group SA Bucharest, 7 years in prison.

Six other people were also given prison sentences in the 2003 sale. Two others got eight-year prison sentences and three others received sentences ranging from four to six years.

CIVIL ACTION: to cover damages: the EUR 60 M prejudice damnum emergens, lucrum cessans:  to be recovered from the defendands

CONFISCATIONS:

  • direct proceeds of crime:

over 36,000 sqm of property (land constructions )where the Bucharest Food Research Institute (ICA) operated.

  • Indirect proceeds of crime:
  • the real estate of the TV stations Antena 1 and Antena 3, the media group founded by businessman Dan Voiculescu,

– 2.984.358, 3 lei from Voiculescu Camelia Rodica ( 9.947.861 shares at SC Compania de Cercetări Aplicative şi Investiţii SA (SC ICA SA), donated by the  convicted Voiculescu Dan  )

– 2.984.358, 6 lei from Voiculescu Camelia Rodica ( 9.947.862 shares at SC Compania de Cercetări Aplicative şi Investiţii SA (SC ICA SA), donated by the  convicted Voiculescu Dan )

–    from the defendant Voiculescu Dan, beneficial owner of Company GRIVCO Sa Bucureşti at the concluding of renting contract n. 5317/35/2003.165 between  GRIVCO Sa Bucureşti, as a landlord and SC Romtelecom SA, as a tenant : 3.515.756,4 USD plus TVA

Seizures:

precautionary measures ordered through the Court resolution from 8.08.2014 of the Bucharest Law Court – Section II Criminal Cases regarding:

the movable and irremovable assets property of the defendant  Dan Voiculescu and his daughters including the bank account and assets of the private companies where the abovementioned individuals are delegates, beneficial owners, associates or administrators, from Romania or abroad, to be identified during the procedures for the enforcement of the precautionary measures based on the provisions of article 32 of the Law 656/2002, article 249 paragraph 1, 4 Criminal Procedure Code in order to satisfy the confiscation order

the real estate of the TV stations Antena 1 and Antena 3

They also maintained the other precautionary measures disposed by the COURT of Appeal on the 1st of July 2014 over:

36,000 sqm of property (land+constructions )where the Bucharest Food Research Institute (ICA) operated.

2.984.358,3 lei from Voiculescu Camelia Rodica ( 9.947.861 shares at SC Compania de Cercetări Aplicative şi Investiţii SA (SC ICA SA), donated by the  convicted Voiculescu Dan  )

2.984.358,6 lei from Voiculescu Camelia Rodica ( 9.947.862 shares at SC Compania de Cercetări Aplicative şi Investiţii SA (SC ICA SA), donated by the  convicted Voiculescu Dan )

According to her resume (https://www.juridice.ro/camelia-bogdan) Mrs Camelia Bogdan is a Romanian judge at Romanian Court of Appeal, second criminal section from the 1st of July 2014. She is specialized in settling not only corruption crimes and the ones related to it, but also in settling serious crimes that may be committed by transnational organised criminal groups, as well as in judging cases of serious economic crimes. She was awarded her first Phd in 2009,

from the Bucharest University, Faculty of Law, for her Thesis  : ”Countering Money  Laundering of the Proceeds Derived from Organised Crime Activities, in the light of Domestic and International Regulations” and she is currently preparing her second Phd in the Asset Recovery of proceeds of crime, in joint supervision of Bucharest and Strasbourg University, since 2013.  In 2016, She was awarded a fellowship Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London d for carrying out researches in Business Law, particularly focusing on Asset Recovery of Proceeds of Crime.

Not also in her academic papers, but also in her judicial decisions, Mrs Camelia Bogdan always emphasizes the paramount importance of financial investigation in order to return the  siphoned founds at the State budget. Her credo is that draining huge amounts of money in the legal economy threatens the very draining huge amounts of money in the legal economy threatens the very essence of the state of law, by hampering to comply with obligations to provide basic services to citizens and reducing the ability to support economic, social and political development. In contrast, according to art. 2.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted in 19666, the state should use the maximum available resources to ensure these rights of its citizens. She strongly encourages  successful investigation of transnational fraud has under the following prerequisites:

  1. deepening and precise understanding of the terms and steps for investigating economic and financial crime with a transnational character and for asset recovery,
  2. integration of parallel pro-active financial investigations in causes generating profit,
  3. investigator understanding financial schemes (most often extremely laborious and complex) in conjunction with the need that sometimes arises to eliminate some traditional strategies in preparing the investigation, forensic tactics emphasizing the creativity of the investigator (“Think Outside The Box”)
  4. Knowledge of European Court of Human Rights relevant jurisprudence on evidentiary material and asset recovery 5. knowledge of recent judicial practice examples outlined in matters of asset recovery 6. knowledge of judicial cooperation instruments in criminal matters to be used in the investigation of transnational cases for asset recover.

According to the editorial released on 11/02/17 on the newspaper Romania Libera (top quality daily) by Sabina Fati: Why they want to kick Camelia Bogdan out of the magistracy (http://romanialibera.ro/opinii/editorial/de-ce-vor-sa-o-dea-afara-din-magistratura-pe-camelia-bogdan—opinie-440465)

For nearly two years, since (controversial media mogul) Dan Voiculescu was sentenced by a panel of High Court judges, also including Camelia Bogdan, the young judge has started to be harassed and marginalised. The coordinated efforts of those who have an axe to grind with her have led to the creation of a real coalition against Camelia Bogdan.

Together with judge Alexandru Mihalcea, who became less visible subsequently, the two also sentenced Marian Iancu in the fraudulent privatization of RAFO ( a former oil refinery) –for 12 years in jail and confiscated the sums of money that the businessman had transferred to Monaco, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S., in order to recover the prejudice worth 200 million dollars. Bogdan was subsequently removed from the OVIDIU TENDER file, where she had asked, like in the other cases, for the recovery of the proceeds of crime in West AFRICA (Sierra Leone and Senegal), whom appeared to be conducted by OVIDIU TENDER in the interest of the Romanians secret services.

Camelia Bogdan, a specialist in confiscation procedures, has become the no.1 enemy of the wealthy defendants, of the associations of magistrates and of the journalists from the media trust founded by Voiculescu, especially since she also ruled in his file for the recovery of damages worth 60 million euro.

She could not escape being punished for her exploits, so that starting August 2014 and so far, since the issued the jail verdict against the founder of the Antena media trusts, her colleagues and foes tried for ways in which to make her withdraw from magistracy; for her to move to Brussels o to take her two doctoral degrees and move altogether to academia, with her speeches about the confiscation of goods acquired illegally, which seemed to make her take the upper moral ground to them.

As Ms. Bogdan did not get the message, a whole machinery was unleashed against her: initially, the Bucharest Court of Appeals ruled to move her from the Criminal Section to the Section for Administrative Litigations, on grounds that that section lacked enough judges; now, the Higher Council of Magistrates (CSM) has ruled to expel her from magistracy, following a complaint lodged by the Group for Political Investigations led by Mugur Ciuvica. The latter accused Camelia Bogdan of spending two weeks in the mountain resort of Poiana Brasov during the lawsuits against Dan Voiculescu, as part of a programme financed by the Ministry of Agriculture; the ministry was part in the lawsuit and the judge was paid 10,000 lei by the ministry.

In fact, Camelia Bogdan was not on a holiday paid by the Ministry of Agriculture; instead, she was a lecturer as part of a E.U. project for “The application of the future common agricultural policy. Prevention of fraud and corruption in order to protect the financial interests of the European Union.”

The decision to expel her from magistracy is not final, but it is part of a long and well orchestrated process of character assassination staged against Camelia Bogdan, for her courage of tackling the cases of the wealthiest local businessmen, who have always been supported by the establishment.

According to ROMANIA Curata an advocacy website):

(http://www.romaniacurata.ro/ce-spune-camelia-bogdan-dupa-decizia-csm-de-excludere-din-magistratura-ce-spun-colegii-ei-magistrati/

Camelia Bogdan,  the judge who sentenced to jail media mogul Dan Voiculescu and ruled on the confiscation of the damages in the ICA file, worth 60 million euro, and of the proceeds of the crime, of nearly 40 million euro,  is accused of having received a fee of 10,000 lei in 2014, while she was judging media mogul Dan Voiculescu; the funds came from the World Bank, through a training company and she taught anti-fraud courses for the APIA staff, an agency subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, which was the damaged party in the lawsuit against Voiculescu that she was judging.

According to the CSM, magistrates should not be able to teach outside the higher education system or the National Institute of Magistracy. However, Camelia Bogdan has an official document from ANI (the Romania integrity agency) which says that she didn’t violate any laws and was not in a situation of incompatibility or of conflict of interests.

Judge Camelia Bogdan wrote on the Magistrates Forum: “Dear colleagues, thank you for your support. I have not been deferred to the Section because I took money from a party in the lawsuit, (…), but because I taught outside the higher education system or the National Institute of Magistracy.

Fellow magistrates of judge Camelia Bogdan spoke on condition of anonymity against the CSM decision to expel her from magistracy, considering the situation unacceptable.

According to: 14/02/17

22 Magazine,

Opinion, by Cristian Campeanu

What is at stake behind the expelling of judge Camelia Bogdan (http://revista22.ro/70260399/mizele-excluderii-cameliei-bogdan.html)

Cristian Campeanu writes that “the central stake is to discourage the process of recovery by the state of the goods obtained following crimes.”

(…)  The really worrying part of the “Bogdan case” is the signal the judges from the new CSM members are sending to any judge, who from now on, will seriously tackle the mission of confiscating and recovering prejudices and will be a trail-blazer in such cases – that he/she might share her fate.

(…)  What is judge Bogdan really “guilty” of? Not only has she sentenced Dan Voiculescu to 10 years in jail and ruled for the confiscation of 60 million euro, – the assessed value of the damages generated by the privatization of ICA. Bogdan did not stop there, and she tried to unravel the ties linking Voiculescy to Crescent and the numerous offshore companies which he controlled. Crescent is linked to the accounts of the feared communist-era Securitate secret police. People who tried to clarify that situation paid with their career. (…) The Voiculescu case is not the only one in which Bogdan proceeded in this way. She also did this in the RAFO case, the Ovidiu Tender  case and the BCR commercial bank cases, when she seized the proceeds of crime  transferred by them to third parties abroad.

(…) It would suffice for one of the big cases judged by Camelia Bogdan to be overturned, for a cascade reaction to follow in all the cases involving the confiscation from third parties.

Cristian Campeanu concludes:

The decision of the High Court of Justice regarding the exclusion of Camelia Bogdan from magistracy will become a turning point in the history of Romanian justice, because it can mark – if the CSM decision is cancelled – the end of the efforts of the crime networks which siphon off the public wealth to escape with their whole illicit fortune and the beginning of a vast process of recovering the prejudices. If the exclusion decision is admitted, it will mean the end of the reforms aimed at the confiscation of illicit fortunes.”

Views Expressed are not of The London Post.

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