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Beatrice Maris, the judge who takes a land as a gift from Mazare (photo gallery)

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14 Apr, 2009 01:15 1789 Marime text
beatrice.jpgThe president of the court of law who sentenced the journalist Feri Predescu in favour of mayor Radu Mazăre, Beatrice Mariş, received from the beneficiary of this decision a land, in respect of Law 10/2001.

Beatrice Mariş caught the attention of the public eye as she allowed this dangerous precedent in Constanţa justice to take place: sentencing a journalist for moral injuries against mayor Radu Mazăre.

The decision of the court presided by Beatrice Mariş was contested by a public petition against those who sentenced Feri Predescu. Although the general idea is that Romanian justice is not a wealthy source of money for the people inside the system, especially for the judges, it seems that real facts are showing us the contrary.

The statement of asset of Beatrice Mariş, filled in January 2006, included an inherited 65.82 m2 apartment, situated in Hortensiei Alley, a Volkswagen Passat bought in 2003 and 2 loans: the first, 5,000.00 Euros, to be paid back from 2004 until 2008, and the second loan, 2,500.00 Euros to be repaid between 2005 - 2009. The same document stated that Mariş had sold in October 2005 a land against 18,000.00 lei and a car for 18,975.00 lei.

However, the document does not state though who were the buyers, where was the land situated or what type of car was that, as such pieces of information should be included in a complete and correct statement of asset. At that moment, the total income of the Mariş family was not so important: Beatrice contributed to the family budged with her salary of 34,796.00 lei per year. The husband is not mentioned in the public document. Nevertheless, we will find the 252 lei allocation of the son, Theodor George Mariş.

Land taken from the municipality, paid in instalments

The next real estate list is found in the document signed on 23rd of January 2007, and there we have noticed a few changes. There appeared a 179.98 m2 land on Victor Babeş St, acquired in 2006 in respect of Law 10/2001 (property transfer back) and another 96.52 m2 land, located at the same address, bought in the same year by Beatrice Mariş and her husband, Adrian. It is quite clear that the transfer back catches the eye, especially for the fact that this was made possible only by mayor ordinance, that is by the will of Radu Mazăre, the mayor. In view of all this, by no means may we conclude that the judge Mariş received a land as la gift from Constanţa mayor.

The land registry excerpt shows us that Beatrice Mariş (former Ignat) received, according to the mayor ordinance no 467 from 17th of February 2006 and Acknowledgement of Receipt no 37222 from 16th of March 2006, the property right on a 180 m2 land situated on Victor Babeş St.

And there is more to it. The statement shows that the judge had kept the apartment on Hortensiei Alley, but did not possess a car any longer. Instead, she owned more loans: 10,000.00 Euros borrowed from Romanian Commercial Bank (2006 - 2016), another 5,000.00 Euros from OTP Bank, the 2 loans already mentioned, summing 7,500.00 Euros and... surprise... a debt of 5,580.00 Euros to be paid back to Constanţa municipality, between 2006 and 2009. This debt is due to the fact that the 96.52 m2 on Victor Babeş St, possibly bought to be annexed to the land transferred back in her property, by ordinance of Mayor Radu Mazăre, was acquired from the municipality itself. Our suspicions are confirmed by the land registry excerpt which shows that, based on request no 64296 from 14th of November 2006, Resolutions no 113 and 131 from 27th of March 2006 and the selling contract no 3416 from 20th of December 2006, the property right of Beatrice and Adrian Mircea Mariş is tabulated against sum of 28,023 lei.

Obviously, the debt to the municipality is not the whole value of the land on Victor Babeş St. Still, the mayor may have proved to be more understanding in the case of Beatrice Mariş and offered her the possibility of buying in instalments.

The business Victor Babeş

In this way Beatrice Mariş made her entrance in the world of the privileged ones, who received lands in respect of Law 10, since Radu Mazăre has been mayor. The judge seems to be very lucky. In the statement of asset for 2007, there we find the judge's income (48,247.00 lei - the salary from the Court and 40,940.00 lei - enforcement titles?!?), the salary of Adrian Mircea Mariş for the position of Legal Representative of Theo Trans Ltd, but also the son's allocation. And we are still not through with year 2007. On 6th of June, the judge fills in a new statement of asset, which includes the lands on Victor Babeş St., the apartment on Hortensiei Alley, the loans, the salary and the allocation. The only change is the fact that the husband, Adrian, received Theo Trans Ltd equities, with a total value of 8,514.00 lei. The next public statement is done in March 2008 and there we again find changes in the properties of Beatrice Mariş: a 500 m2 land bought in 2007 (no address specified, as the law requires), an off-road Nissan made in 2004, and also the selling of a land to a certain Ion Tudorache against sum of 80,229.00 lei. According to the land registry excerpt, Beatrice Mariş sold those two lands on Victor Babeş St. (which were annexed) to Ion and Steliana Tudorache, against the sum of 28,023.00 lei and respectively 52,206.00 lei.

The "queen" of loans

The transactions were done according to the selling contract no 2257 and 2258 from 16th of August 2007. On this occasion, the judge paid off the debt to Radu Mazăre's municipality. In exchange of this, she contracted two more loans: 7,800.00 Euros from Romanian Bank (2008 - 2017) and from Bancpost (2008 - 2012). And we have the other usual coordinates: the apartment on Hortensiei Alley, the loans (Commercial Romanian Bank, OTP Bank), the salaries (hers, 59,461.00 lei and his, 11,508.00 lei) and the equities (7,080.79 lei). The last statement, filled in on 9th of May 2008, brings new changes: a 900 m2 arable land in Techirghiol (of course, there is no information about from whom of how it was bought) and two deposit accounts, one of 12,933.13 Euros and another of 50,000 lei, both in Romanian Bank. From the same bank, Mariş contracted a loan of 127,710.00 Euros, to be paid back in 25 years.

The website www.vrajitorul.eu shows that on 22nd of April 2008, Beatrice Mariş "mortgaged all her movables assimilated to one of her assets, movables which became assets by destination, and all the asset improvements (considered enhancements according to art. 1777 from Civil Code). The mortgage is made on the enhancements of the building situated in Constanţa, 7th Vrâncioaiei Alley, allotment a 669/4, lot 2, division 72, area Baba Novac, Constanţa county, registered in Constanţa Land Registry no 44009, having cadastral no (topo) 3483/2, as shown in the Land Registry excerpt no 29123 issued by OCPI Constanţa on 17th of April 2008, according to the mortgage contract signed on 18th of April 2008 and authenticated on no 1135".

Volkswagen - Goodbye but not really

So, our judge mortgaged the land bought in 2008. The course of the judge's properties seems to be quite intricate. Not to mention that a state employee, as this is what a judge is, can afford to transact a lot of very valuable lands. And having a salary of 59,461.00 lei (according to her statement made on 9th of May 2008), she seems to able to repay a loan of 127,710.00 Euros.

One may wonder what she could do with the money, which is not enough to build and decorate a house, if this is what she intends to build on the 500 m2 land on Vrâncioaiei Alley. She may have already done this. And even if the Volkswagen disappeared from the statement of asset since 2007, Beatrice Mariş may still be seen driving a Volkswagen, not a Passat, but a Jetta. About her husband, Adrian Mircea, according to the last year statement, he earns 11,508.00 lei per year and receives equities of 7,080.73 lei.

"She was on leave at the time of the evaluation"

This is what we have found in a report of the Superior Council of the Magistracy, from 2007: the first 3 judges with the highest numbers of sentences pronounced in 2005: Crina Popescu - 872, Beatrice Mariş - 828, Monica Dobrin - 826". As about Beatrice Mariş: "She has been in magistracy for 7.6 years so far (counted until March 2007). In 2005 she held 61 court sessions, processed 2.014 cases, pronounced 828 sentences and issued 283 judgements. The number of sessions was below average of the law court, while the number of the cases processed and the number of judgements were above average.

In the first semester of 2006, she participated to 31 court sessions, processed 1,026 lawsuits, pronounced 411 sentences and issued 162 judgements. Out of the analysis of the cassation practice, 12 of her judgements had been overturned or modified. She is specialised in the matter of minors and family and in the matter of land fund.  The judge proved to be meticulous, team-worker, involved in solving the court's problems. She was not assisted in the court of law and there were no individual discussions to the judge, as she was on leave at the date of the evaluation".

"All columns must be filled in accordingly"

Obviously, we tried to contact the judge Beatrice Mariş to listen to her opinion on this subject. We were confronted with a strong refuse from her side. Moreover, the magistrate sent us to Ciprian Coadă, spokesman of Constanţa Tribunal and also a robe bearer as Betty, as the friends call her. The vice-president and the spokesman of the Tribunal let us suppose that Mariş did not want to talk to us and she sent us to him. Any question related to the way the judge filled in her statement of asset was cunningly avoided.

The reasons of those who signed the online petition against the magistrates who condemned Feri Predescu, were questioned; the lack of a mass media law was used as an excuse and a lot of theorising was done. The crucial aspect is the avoidance of the question: Were the source of Beatrice Mariş's assets correctly indicated? Eventually, we were sent to the National Agency for Integrity, the only state body which could be able to lighten us. Therefore, the handout 2997 from 10th of March 2009 issued by the National Agency for Integrity explains that in respect of provisions of art. 41, paragraph 1, from Law 144/2007, "the statements of asset and of interest are personal and irrevocable documents". According to paragraph 2, "the statement of asset is to be done in writing, on one's own behalf, and includes personal belongings, goods held in common, and also the belongings of the children had on alimony, according to annex to Law 115/1996, for statement and control of the property of dignitaries, magistrates, some persons holding managing  or control positions and clerks, with all subsequent amendments, and also the provisions of Government Decision no 14/2005 on the change of statement of asset and statement of interest forms, adopted by Law 158/2005, which are all adequately applied".

Yes, but how should the statement be filled in? The National Agency for Integrity states that, as describes in pct. 1, the forms "statement of asset" and "statement of interest" are annexes to Governmental Decision no 14/2005 and "all columns must be filled in accordingly". The same National Agency for Integrity confirms the fact that the statement should include the name of the persons to which the holder transfer an asset having a value higher than 1,000 Euros, but also the value of the taxes for the assets owned. That is the way Beatrice Mariş did not do. Who should take action? The inspectors of the National Agency for Integrity.

What Feri says

The journalist Feri Predescu was amazes when she found out that the one who signed her sentence received a land from the mayor. She admitted that if she had known this detail in due time, she would have asked the trial to be moved in another town. "Anyone who would have had a lawsuit against the mayor Mazăre and would have had such a judge, would have had no chances of winning", the journalist says.

Betty entered the circle of the privileged

We may note that Beatrice Mariş is responsible for a dangerous precedent, that of convicting a journalist; on the other hand buying in instalments a land from the municipality was also "a first". Not to mention receiving a land in respect to Law 10/2001, which is only for the privileged beneficiaries of property transfer back, while common citizens are waiting in line for years. And we cannot stop wondering who else would be part of this special local elite.

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