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The PM asks ministers to check with Prosecutors on the stage of investigations into previous complaints.
PM Victor Ponta said during the Cabinet meeting yesterday that the Government’s Control Body would send the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) a report showing that Hidroelectrica had bee caused a loss amounting to hundreds of millions of euro. ‘The special administrator has many trials with the smart guys from Hidroelectrica and their representatives, which he fortunately wins. No one in the last four years has looked into what was going on there. I have the report from the Control Body which we will definitely send to DNA and the Court of Auditors for everyone to see how, under the signatures of Videanu and Secretary of State Tudor Serban, Hidroelectrica and the budget of Romania were suffering losses of hundreds of millions of euro. Naturally, that money is now with Mr. Videanu and PDL, but it needs to be recovered and the recipients of those hundreds of millions of euro must be held accountable’, Ponta said to the ministers. The PM also expressed his hope that the Prosecutor’s Office would, ‘at some time’, find the respite to analyse the evidence provided by the Control Body.PDL leader Adriean Videanu responds that Victor Ponta is not going to get away with not paying for the damaged caused by pushing Hidroelectrica into insolvency. He advised anyone interested in the ‘obvious theft’ of the premier, including DNA, to study the financial disclosure statements completed by the PSD leader from 2006 to 2009. ‘For a year now, Romania has been led by an unprecedented mythomaniac who, although is the prime minister of the Government, is obsessed only with his own image and not Romanians’ actual problems, as the office he temporarily occupies would require’, Videanu says in a press release. He further notes that, ever since he came into power, the PM ‘has taken Hidroelectrica onto the verge of bankruptcy’ through his decisions.
The document prepared by the Control Body of the Government, in the period from 2009 to 2011, Hidroelectrica suffered a total loss of RON 553.1 M from the difference between the electricity sale price and the price at which the company bought, in its turn, electricity under bilateral agreements, upon the illegal intervention of the Ministry of Economy. The report indicates that responsible for the loss are the individuals who were in lead positions at the Ministry of Economy in that period, of whom ex-Secretary of State Tudor Serban are expressly named. Hidroelectrica is property of the Ministry of Economy and in insolvency since June last year, one of the reasons for its insolvency being the directly negotiated agreements. The agreements for the direct sale of electricity by Hidroelectrica at prices considerably lower than the market level were signed from 2001 to 2003, extended several times and terminated or re-negotiated last year.
The PM has also instructed ministers to write to the Prosecutor’s Office asking for an update on the stage of investigations of all complaints they had filed over irregularities identified when they took over their respective terms, adding he hoped all guilty persons would be hold liable. The premier has repeatedly said lately that complaints made by members of the Government to criminal investigation authorities, raising irregularities identified by in-coming ministers upon taking up office, were not finalised. Nistor: Complaints missing On the other hand, DNA interim head Calin Nistor claims that one of the problems in the investigation of possible public procurement fraud was the fact that public institutions were not filing formal complaints, because their leaders were often involved in the fraud. The interim DNA chief said yesterday that, given the ‘hardships’ prosecutors have in the investigation of corruption cases in the area of public procurement, ‘further penal incriminations’ were needed for fraud regarding public procurement. Mediafax says the DNA chief prosecutor also added that, in investigating public procurement fraud, a prosecutor searches ‘beyond appearances’ for the actual intention of a corrupt official with the contract awarding authority.