In 2014 Dan Adamescu was arrested on charges of corruption; he was accused of bribing two judges overseeing a business insolvency case. He was later convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
Dan Adamescu died on January 24th, 2017 at the age of 68. His death followed detention in horrific, medieval conditions in a Romanian prison after his conviction in a day-long show trial. Not content with killing one member of the Adamescu family, the Romanian authorities have issued a European Arrest Warrant against Dan’s son, Alexander Adamescu.
This page goes into the detail of the case, publishing original documents starting from the pre-trial detention hearing, as well as the evidence presented against Dan Adamescu. In each case an English translation is provided – please get in touch if you would like the original Romanian language documents.
Arrest, charges, and decision to remand in custody
The case against Dan Adamescu begins with his arrest in June 2014, and a hearing in judges’ chambers to determine whether or not he should be remanded in custody while he awaited trial. These documents include all sides of the case – the prosecution’s interpretation of the evidence, the defence’s refutation of that interpretation, and the judge’s decision to remand Adamescu in custody.
1) Decision to remand in custody
This document is the official record of the conversation in judges’ chambers where the decision to remand Dan Adamescu in custody, after he had been charged, was made. It covers all of the evidence against Adamescu, showing how little and questionable the evidence actually was.
- A telephone transcript (full copy below) shows Adamescu finding a lawyer for his employee to take to a DNA interrogation – this was interpreted by prosecutors as being proof that he was attempting to influence a witness.
- The witness statements of the people involved in the bribery, one of which, Daniel Onute, claimed to have acted on Adamescu’s behalf (with no other evidence of this). Other witnesses said they understood Mr Onute was acting on Adamescu’s behalf, but had not heard this from Adamescu.
- The decision to remand Adamescu in custody was made essentially because Adamescu was wealthy and the judge supposed it would look bad for him to be released on bail.
Download: Decision to remand in custody
2) Telephone transcripts
This is a translation of the transcripts of telephone conversations between Dan Adamescu and his chief financial officer Daniella Firestain, as well as conversations between Dan Adamescu, lawyers and another member of his staff.
The Romanian prosecutors presented these conversations as a key plank of the evidence against Dan Adamescu, claiming they proved that Adamescu had tried to influence Ms Firestain during the investigation. But what the series of conversations actually show is Adamescu ringing round his contacts to find a lawyer for Ms Firestain to take into an interrogation by the DNA (and to arrange a car to take her and a lawyer to the DNA). The final transcript is after Ms Firestain has been interviewed by the DNA, and shows Adamescu asking her how she got on.
Download: Telephone transcripts
3) Adamescu’s appeal against remand
This document was submitted to the court deciding on whether or not to remand Dan Adamescu in custody, and refutes the conclusions of the evidence gathered by prosecutors.
- It explains that the motivation of the key witness, Mr Onute, to denounce Adamescu is because Mr Onute himself admits illegal actions and gained immunity for accusing Adamescu.
- It explains that other witnesses either do not claim to have been acting on the orders of Adamescu or else never even met Adamescu.
- It argues that it is unreasonable for prosecutors to suggest Adamescu must have known what the money was being spent on, when usual practice is for insolvency proceedings to be handled by employees of such a large business, and the money was presented as bills from lawyers.
- This document also challenges the idea that Adamescu was attempting to influence Ms Firestain, and appeals the grounds on which Adamescu was refused bail.
Download: Adamescu’s appeal against remand
4) The remand hearing
This document from August 2014 details the appeal from Dan Adamescu (and two other defendants in the case) to be released from prison ahead of his trial, to a less restrictive control method such as house arrest.
In the document we see that Adamescu’s lawyer explained why Adamescu should be released from prison before the trial:
- Adamescu made no effort to interfere with the investigation before, and can be relied to not try to interfere with it in the future. Regardless, the phase of the investigation in which he could interfere with if he wanted to was completed at this point.
- Adamescu had no previous criminal record and was well integrated into Romanian society, there is no indication that he would try to leave.
- Finally, the lawyer presented evidence of Adamescu’s serious ill health, which made prison detention particularly difficult for him.
Judge Ghita decides that Adamescu should stay in prison because:
“[Adamescu is] still challenging the perpetration of the crimes they are being tried for and the existence of any evidence from which such a reasonable presumption would result from.”
Essentially, asserting his innocence before his trial had started meant that Adamescu was not released.
This file also gives an overview of the entire bribery case and the evidence and actors in it, exposing how little evidence there is against Adamescu – just the word of one man who admits his own guilt, but was not prosecuted in return for denouncing Adamescu.
Download: The remand hearing