The founding leader of the Conservative Party is accused of corruption acts in the privatisation of the Food Research Institute, together with 12 other defendants. The final sentence is expected in two weeks.
The tribunal tried yesterday the last term of the case against Dan Voiculescu regarding the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA). While the anticorruption prosecutor asked the court to sentence Dan Voiculescu to prison without parole for money laundering, the conservative leader accuses that behind the trial are President Traian Basescu and that a central daily puts pressure on judges. The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) did not mention the length of the prison term it seeks, but the law sets it to a maximum 12 years. According to prosecutors, the loss produced by this privatisation exceeds EUR 60 M.
The DNA prosecutor that attended the trial said that all the pieces of evidence, including the expertise of lands, repeated during the trial, prove the accusations brought against the defendants. The prosecutor added that the last expertise in the case of lands indicated an even bigger value than the expertise made during the criminal prosecution by the DNA, which justifies even more the accusations against Dan Voiculescu and the other defendants. He asked the court to pronounce against Voiculescu a prison sentence without possibility of parole for money laundering, along with confiscating the money provided by the accusation document in his case, as well as restraining some civil rights. In the case of the other defendants, the prosecutor demanded terms without parole for instigation to intellectual forgery, respectively complicity to under-evaluating state assets in the privatisation process.
Answering the accusations, the lawyer of Dan Voiculescu said that “there is not one piece of evidence, direct or indirect, for the act of using influence.” The crime cannot result from inaction, there must be a concrete material fact that generates a direct action,” the lawyer said in court.
“The institutions controlled by Mr. Basescu and Ms. Udrea already gave the verdict. I should not even come today, if you read the press, it wrote: <<the instance must…>> I have great confidence in justice,” Voiculescu told journalists before entering the courtroom.
On May 28, at the Bucharest Tribunal, Voiculescu denied any involvement in the privatisation of ICA. “The money laundering crime is a nonsense, because I cannot launder my own money. All my legal incomes were in banks. I had no involvement in the process of privatisation. The negotiations, the auction, I knew nothing about them. I am innocent. I was not involved in the privatisation process,” the PC founder stated. He added that “the only way” he could have “influenced party members, the State Domains Agency (ADS) and ICA was by telepathy.”
Voiculescu was charged in this case at the beginning of December 2012. DNA prosecutors say that the fraudulent privatisation of ICA was made to the benefit of Dan Voiculescu, by under-evaluating the assets of the institute with more than EUR 7.7 M. Together with Voiculescu, prosecutors also arraigned Corneliu Popa, Catalin Sandu Jean, Gheorghe Mencinicopschi, Sorin Pantis, Vlad Nicolae Savulescu, Marian Gheorghe Domnisoru, Gheorghe Sin, Constantin Baciu, Alexandru Petre, Marinescu Grigore, Vica Ene and Flavius Adrian Pop. They are all charged with complicity to intently setting a diminished value compared to the real one, to the assets belonging to the economic agents in which the state is majority shareholder, committed in the action of privatisation with the purpose of obtaining for them or for others money, goods or other undeu benefits, in continued form. Gheorghe Mencinicopschi was a member of PC, general manager and member of the AGA, later also of the CA of ICA SA Bucharest. He is also accused of misuse of authority against public interests and false in writs under private signature.