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March 29, 2023

Ex PM Tariceanu loses slander suit against successor Boc

A Bucharest Sector 5 court on Friday rejected as ungrounded former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s slander suit against incumbent Premier Emil Boc. The decision can be appealed within 15 days with the Bucharest City Court. Tariceanu’s lawyer, ex Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu, already said he would appeal against the ruling, according to Mediafax.

In the lawsuit, Tariceanu accused Boc of making slanderous, false statements about him when he accused the former National Liberal Party leader and ex PM of having granted Sterling Resources the right to extract minerals and natural gas in a Black Sea section that was still disputed with Ukraine at The Hague at the moment. Tariceanu rejected the allegations, and said the contract with Sterling was initiated by the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), without his knowledge. He further said that Boc deliberately made slanderous comments about him although the prime minister has legal studies, is a lawyer “and had direct knowledge of the situation he was referring to.” The legal suit was opened against both Boc and a Social Democrat MP, Iulian Iancu, in February last year, seeking damages of RON 100,000 from each. Proceedings began in May and Boc and Tariceanu were heard by the court in March this year. In front of magistrates, Boc said Tariceanu had the obligation to check the contract’s legality and from this point of view, he can be considered a “thief, figuratively speaking.” In turn, Tariceanu said Boc’s accusations were grave, even more so that they came from a government representative. What’s interesting is that an investigation into the case, run by Boc’s Control Body, did not find any fault for Tariceanu and indicated ex government Secretary Genera Gabriel Berca and Economy Ministry’s ex State Secretary Catalin Doica as the sole responsible.

The contract granting Sterling the right to exploit mineral reserves in the Black Sea’s XIII Pelican and XV Midia sectors was signed at the end of 2008. The Hague settled the Ukrainian-Romanian dispute regarding separation of the Black Sea plateau in February last year.

In separate comments on Realitatea TV over the weekend, Tariceanu launched a tough attack on Boc, calling him “politically eaten, exhausted and lacking any credibility.” Commenting on the government’s austerity measures and income cuts, Tariceanu said the measures will only diminish consumption and deepen recession. He warned that tax hikes will surely follow this autumn, despite the government’s assurances that pension and salary cuts would be enough to help economic revival.

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