Videanu and Seres might get smaller sentences

The accusations of plot and undermining the national economy brought to the former ministers of Economy could turn into initiating and forming organised criminal groups, respectively misuse of authority with aggravated consequences.

The prosecutors of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) changed the charges against the former minister of Economy, Adriean Videanu , from plot and undermining of the economy into forming an organised criminal group and misuse of authority. The change of the accusations brought to Videanu was possible after the enforcement of the new Penal Code, DIICOT officials explained, quoted by Mediafax. The democrat-liberal was yesterday at the DIICOT head office, but he was not questioned, the sources added. Upon leaving the building, when asked if the former minister of Economy, Varujan Vosganian will be summoned too, Videanu said that he does not know, as the decision belongs to prosecutors. The general prosecutor of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) demanded in September 2013 to the Senate and, respectively, the president of the country to start the procedures in view of formulating the request to begin the criminal probe against Varujan Vosganian and, respectively, Adriean Videanu, for plot and undermining of the national economy. According to prosecutors, while they were ministers of Economy, Vosganian and Adriean Videanu approved and supported in the government several documents to the benefit of the financial interests of Ioan Niculae and used the national unit of strategic interest SNGN Romgaz for the private interest of SC Interagro SA, causing a loss of approximately USD 130 M.
In a similar situation is the former minister of Economy, Codrut Seres (photo), who might receive a more lenient punishment in the case of undermining the economy, or the case could even be closed after the supreme court announced the changing of the accusation, due to the enforcement of the new Penal Codes. For Seres and the others suspects in the case, the accusations of plot and undermining of the national economy might turn into initiation and creation of an organised criminal group, respectively misuse of authority with aggravated conseequences. Wednesday, the lawyer of Seres explained in court that the crime for which his client is tried has no correspondent in the new Penal Procedure Code, so the court should close the case. The next term in this case will be March 3, when final pleads will be delivered. The new Penal Code stipulates, for economic undermining, a punishment with prison between 10 and 20 years. The misuse of authority carries a much lighter sentence, between 2 and 7 years, with the mention that if the crime produced very serious consequences, the special limits of the sentence will be increased by half. Codrut Seres was sent in court by DIICOT in September 2011, under the accusation that he kept hidden the illegal activities of the management of SC Hidroelectrica SA, which caused losses of approximately USD 165 M.

New changes to the Penal Code?

According to Realitatea TV, Premier Victor Ponta, Viorel Hrebenciuc and leaders of UDMR met Wednesday evening. The talks referred to possible changes operated to the Penal Code and the Law of amnesty and pardon. The premier and the UDMR officials also discussed about the conflict of interests and the statute of civil servants.

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