Vantu banned to leave Romania?

The Ministry of Justice informs that the request for the extradition of Nicolae Popa from Indonesia where he had been provisionally arrested on December 2 was sent to the Romanian Embassy to Jakarta together with the supporting paperwork yesterday, to be forwarded to the Indonesian authorities, Mediafax informs. Unknown sources told yesterday that Sorin Ovidiu Vantu is banned to leave the country, as a consequence of an investigation related to Nicolae Popa file. Popa’s extradition has been requested with a view to enforcing the 15-year sentence passed against defendant Nicolae Popa, convicted for continued fraud and embezzlement. According to the investigators, on September 18, 1998, Nicolae Popa, ‘in his capacity as the general manager of a trading company, took from the deposit a total of 65,359 shares with a nominal value of ROL 25.376, which he gave to a broker who was instructed to sell them at a nominal price of ROL 765,000, the value of the damage being approximately ROL 50 bn’. Wanted by the authorities since 2002, Nicolae Popa was arrested in Jakarta, on December 2, under a European arrest warrant issued by the Romanian judicial authorities following a final court decision convicting him for fraud and sentencing him to 15 years in prison.

“I hope Basescu would understand the need for national reconciliation”

Businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu declared in the first interview given to after the presidential elections from 2009 that Romania needs a national union government and called Traian Basescu to reconciliation. “Basescu won. I hope with all my heart to be so wise and have won for the whole Romanian nation, not just for himself. I hope with all my heart that he would understand that we need national reconciliation,” Vantu declared.

At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility that the former Gelsor director, Nicolae Popa, would testify against him, saying that “anything is possible,” but he considers that this will not be “accusatory” and says that he has decided to appeal to ECHR requesting damages of one RON and excuses from the Romanian state. In the same interview, Vantu denied again any connection between his meeting with Mircea Geoana and Popa’s arrest. He also said that he regrets his arrest, because Nicolae Popa – a former member of the Trust Council of Sov Invest – was his friend, he is a special man and he “has got into this story quite innocent,” his sentence to 15 years in prison being a verdict based “on media articles, not on real investigations.”

SOV recalled that in FNI case he was “exonerated” and he needed nine years to prove that he did not have “any criminal involvement in this operation.” About BID scandal he said that it was a media one.

Asked if he goes to ECHR in Strasbourg, Sorin Ovidiu Vantu declared: “Absolutely. My lawyers are working on this lawsuit.”

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