Prominent businessman probed by anti-corruption prosecutors

After 24 hours of questioning Adrian Chebutiu, president-director of UCM Resita, and Executive Director Adrian Preda, at the Bucharest headquarters of the General Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), prosecutors issued 24-hour holding warrants against the two, sources with DNA Timisoara told Agerpres Tuesday. Chebutiu is president of the sports club UCM Resita, which has sections of men’s handball, motorcycling and motor racing. DNA searched Monday evening the offices of the bosses with the UCM Group, as well as Adrian Chebutiu’s home in Timisoara. The Resita Machine Construction Plant, the city’s largest employer, employs a workforce of about 2,500. A contract was signed Dec. 23, 2003, under which the Authority for Privatisation sold its stake in UCM Resita to a consortium made up of the company INET A.G. Switzerland, which holds 96.388 per cent of the shares, and the UCM Resita Employers’ Association. According to “Adevarul” online, DNA maintains secrecy over the reasons for Chebutiu’s and Preda’s arrest. “My clients were illegally deprived of their freedom from Monday evening until yesterday, at 23.45, when the 24-hour holding warrant was issued,” lawyer Zamfira Stepanescu said.

Asked what could be the grounds for the two company executives being held, the lawyer said: “The charge, tax evasion, does not pertain to the UCMR.” According to judicial sources, a Lebanese arrested in Bulgaria and brought to Romania, is also being investigated in connection with the case.

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