Judges with the Criminal Division of the High Court of Cassation and Justice yesterday sentenced Ioan Avram Muresan, a former agriculture minister, to seven years in prison for embezzlement, and stripped him of his civil rights for five years. The ruling is challengeable on appeal.
The former minister was put on trial in December 2003 by the-then National Anti-Corruption Directorate, renamed the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA).
Under the indictment, Muresan allegedly drew up in May 1999, November 1999 and April 2000 several reports towards an amount of 5,000 tonnes of cooking oil being taken out of the national reserve and lent to a Constanta-based company. Muresan is also charged with uttering, as the former minister purportedly signed, in the name of the officials with the said company, a report requesting an extension of the oil return deadline.
Ioan Truta, a personal adviser to Mr. Muresan, and Silvia Capitanu, a former director at the Ministry of Agriculture, were also among those sent to court. They were handed down sentences of seven, and five years respectively. Dan Jiga, another former ministry director put on trial in the same case, was acquitted.