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October 28, 2020

Ex president: Basescu could have been arrested over Fleet affair

Former president Emil Constantinescu said in a TV show on Antena 3 TV that in 1999, current head of state Traian Basescu could have been taken “in handcuffs” to the Prosecutor’s Office over the Fleet affair, but he personally opposed, considering it was in the country’s interest not to break the ruling coalition before NATO and EU accession. “While Mr. Traian Basescu was minister of transport, he became the target of a criminal probe in the Fleet affair. It took very long. The first expertise was ready in 1999, which had him as prime suspect of a huge fraud worth nearly EUR 300,000. There was an expertise submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office. It would have been very easy for me, it was enough just to keep silent and Mr. Traian Basescu would have been taken in handcuffs, with much publicity, following an expertise and an investigation that took 3 years,” Constantinescu stated. The ‘Fleet’ file referred to the way the Romanian fleet lost a number of ships – large ore carriers – through crimes committed by those who initiated and unfolded the fraudulent association between CNM Petromin SA Constanta and the privately-owned Norwegian group of companies Torvald Klaveness Oslo, during April 1991 – August 2000.

The former president also said “Romania is a tribal society, led by clans,” which are created by intelligence services. According to Constantinescu, Basescu wants to create a society based on ‘Putin Russia’s’ model. “Actually, where are we headed to? The target of President Basescu is to secure himself a term of prime minister, based on the Putin model, with a president like Medvedev, chosen from the intellectual class – considered liberal – and supported by two strong parties, with a very aggressive youth organisation behind, with a group that will really enforce its rules the moment they lose control upon banks and industry,” warned the former head of state, quoted by Mediafax.

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