"There have been attempts for the prefect to be made a scapegoat"
"The support from the government wasn't much to talk about, so if it were withdrawn, there wouldn't be much of a difference"
Bucharest's General Mayor was heard on Tuesday as a witness by the prosecutors of the General Prosecutor's Office in the case concerning the events which happened on August 10th in Victoriei Square. Before going into the Prosecutors' Department building, Gabriela Firea said she stood by her statements made immediately after the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the PSD and said: "I always speak based on facts, not just in this particular case, but in other areas as well, including politics. I will be answering to the questions of the prosecutor who contacted me and told me I was supposed to be heard in the case which is now being investigated concerning the intervention of the gendarmes on August 10th".
After almost three hours of hearings, the Bucharest mayor said that "there have been attempts to make the prefect of Bucharest into a scapegoat" for the intervention of the gendarmes in the August 10th protest, when the Gendarmerie acted in force to evacuate the protesters.
"The investigation will show that Speranța Cliseru is not guilty of anything. As far as I know, she couldn't have had access to professional secrets and job orders. She didn't have an ORNISS certificate, because she had only been a prefect for three weeks. Upon the request of the representative of the gendarmerie, she signed the written order, drawn up by the gendarmerie, as shown by the legislation in effect", Gabriela Firea said.
Concerning the hearing as witness in the case, Gabriela Firea said: "This was about elements which are the responsibility of the general mayor and especially those concerning the authorization of the protest, and especially the authorization of the rally, the requests, whether they had been approved or not, whether there was an organizer who took responsibility for the organization of the meeting of August 10th. The mayor needs to respect the law no. 215 concerning the local public administration, we do not have military roles, of intervention, of participating or having knowledge of job secrets of the structures habilitated by the law to restore order and we can't coordinate that kind of events, that is why I could only be asked some marginal questions, concerning the manner this rally was promoted. I was on a mission in Tallinn".
Gabriela Firea, unhappy with the Government's lack of support
The Bucharest mayor has continued her harsh statements against the minister of Internal Affairs, Carmen Dan, who she blamed for the manner in which she handled the intervention of the gendarmes on the evening of August 10th.
Concerning the statements made at the end of last week by the Mayor of Bucharest, who claimed that minister Carmen Dan spies on her conversations, the General Police Department said on Tuesday that the discussions on WhatsApp, which Gabriela Firea said minister Carmen Dan brought the transcripts of to the meeting of the PSD, had not been produced by the institution and she strongly rejected the attempt to get the mimistry involved in political disputes.
The clarification made by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was made in the context in which the general mayor of Bucharest reiterated, on a TV show, the accusations made against Carmen Dan, at the PSD meeting which was held in Neptun: "The minister pulled out from a dossier, even though I don't think she had no way of knowing what I was going to say, except if she watches my private conversations, some papers claiming that they were private conversations between the prefect and a state secretary. I asked her about them. (...) She then changed her tune and said that the state secretary had made them available. I criticized her for having things get to this point ... We are fighting the parallel state, but part of the parallel state is beside us, with an Internal Affairs Minister who comes in to the Executive Committee ready in her defense with some private messages".
Gabriela Firea said on Tuesday that she was not worried over losing political support, as she did not actually have it: "The support from the government was not much to speak of, so they can't really withdraw something that barely existed. The political support should be proposed by somebody and should be approved by the colleagues. I don't think things will go that far".
Interim president of PSD București alleges manipulations within the party
Gabriela Firea who is an interim head of the social-democrats in Bucharest, also claimed that she was not in camp of those who criticize the PSD, but that she was "among those who had the lucidity in the Social Democrat Party and we wouldn't accept forever the distortion of the truth and for us to be manipulated and manipulations being publicized and disseminated". She mentioned that she would remain a member of the PSD, that she wouldn't join the political adversaries of the social-democrats, but instead she would wait for her other colleagues in the party to understand that things have gone down the wrong path.
The mayor of Bucharest said: "We can't afford to keep our eyes closed, nor keep everything that has been happening here permanent or accept this manipulation, where if someone dares to make a statement or raise an issue is immediately accused of having been recruited by the secret services, of having been recruited by the opposition, of having been recruited by Iohannis. If they can say things like that about me, then that means that manipulation reigns in Romania. (...) I am not undercover or with a blown cover. I am sure that the truth will prevail, even though it is very hard for me now. I am convinced that after this storm, the sun will come".
Gabriela Firea also said that she wasn't considering running for president of Romania, because she wanted to see through her term as mayor of Bucharest.
Also heard on Tuesday in the General Prosecutors' Office was the deputy mayor of Bucharest, Aurelian Bădulescu, to whom Gabriela Firea delegated her roles on August 10th. So far, 770 complaints have been filed following the violent acts of August 10th.
The representatives of the Gendarmerie have said on Tuesday, in a response to an enquiry sent by Ziare.com, that he information about the volume of gas, tear gas grenades and the number of recipients used by the gendarmes, during the intervention of August 10th, in Victoriei Square, are "Job secret".
This was an essential piece of information concerning the intervention of the gendarmes on August 10, after several protesters have complained about the effects of tear gas, headaches and stomachaches, which persisted a few days after the event.
George Marinescu (translated by Cosmin Ghidovean)