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March 8, 2021

Two on remand in bird flu case

The Bucharest Court of Appeals yesterday decided to place on 29-day remand the former director of the Sanitary-Veterinary Department within the Transport Ministry’s Public Health Agency, Victor Butean, and a company manager, Tonel Ursachi. The two are facing charges of corruption in connection to the granting of disinfection measures during a bird flu outbreak in Romania between October 2005 and March 2006, according to Agerpres. Initially, the two were probed out of custody, with a ban to leave Bucharest and the country, but the court admitted anticorruption prosecutors’ appeal to this ruling. Butean is charged with taking bribes, complicity to giving bribes, setting up an organised crime group, money laundering, while Ursachi is accused of giving bribes, money laundering and setting up and being part of an organised crime group. More specifically, Butean used his position to delegate Ursachi’s company to take over disinfection operations on roads and railways during the bird flu outbreak, but the company had no authorization to conduct such operations, prosecutors say. (M. B.)

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