The Court of Appeal in Bucharest pronounced on Thursday, June 11, 2020, the final verdict in a case involving a gendarme from Galati. As a sergeant at the time he committed the crimes, Marian Cristinel Popa was sent to court for abuse of office and forgery. In September 2015, he abusively confiscated the amount of 20 RON from a prostitute who was found on the roadside of European Road 581.
The gendarme had confiscated the money from the prostitute without filling out any kind of report for contravention nor for taking the money to the Treasury. Later, when his bosses were informed, Popa filled out a report testifying that a young woman who offered sexual services for money was fined.
From the data on file, one can see that the gendarme’s colleague on patrol with him at the time, thus a witness in the case, was trying to convince Popa to deposit the 20 lei to the Treasury or return it to the woman he confiscated it from.
– P.G.: Oh, oh, oh! What happens to the money? Look, Marian, the idea of keeping the money is stressing me out.
Marian Cristinel Popa: Oh, c’mon, give me a f..ng break! You want me to take the money [to the Treasury] now?
P.G. Listen to me! No! You go and return the money! You have my word. Listen to me. I will fill out this activity report. 20 confiscated RON. Just watch me (…) She committed a contravention; you filled out the report for finding a contravention. And then, based on this, you take the money also [without filling out the proper paperwork for this too].
Popa Marian Cristinel: That is correct!
P.G. What shall we do with it?
Popa Marian Cristinel: I’ll burn it, I’ll throw it away. Give me a f..ing break!
P.G. Look, this is how we’re going to get caught…I’ll lose my job!
Popa Marian Cristinel: I’ve taken millions and millions, and you are panicking about 20 RON. You’re too much!
The gendarme, accused of the crimes after he had initially denied committing them, declared afterward in court that he did think he was guilty to some extent since he turned in the money late because he didn’t know he had done anything wrong. However, he declared that it is not true that he had spent the money. He put the money away in a briefcase in the office, which was confirmed by photos taken by the witness.
Regarding the forgery that he was accused of, the gendarme declared that he did not have the report book on him at that moment and he does not remember what he did afterward. He didn’t understand why the court didn’t take into consideration that he had not intended to steal.
At the Iași Court of Law, where the case was first judged, the gendarme was sentenced to two years and two months in prison with suspension for abuse of office. The application of any punishment for the forgery charge was dropped; for this offense, he received only a warning.
At the Military Court of Appeal in Bucharest, where the case was judged, the gendarme was convicted and sentenced to three years of prison with suspension. The sentence is final.