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August 13, 2022

Leading medical school rector banned from leaving country

Vasile Astarastoae, Rector of the Iasi University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMF), has received a 30-day ban from leaving the country, the National Anti-Corruption Office (DNA) informed on Friday, being quoted by Mediafax. Astarastoae is investigated in the case concerning the fixing of the tender for the University’s e-learning platform. Astarastoae is investigated by the DNA for abuse in office, attempt to use false documents and statements, conflict of interests and joining an organized crime group, the DNA communiqué shows.

According to the prosecutors, a project financed from the European Regional Development Fund, titled ‘E-learning Platform at the Iasi University of Medicine and Pharmacy,’ was being implemented in 2009-2011 at UMF Iasi. In this context, Astarastoae, as UMF Rector and Project Manager, along with Daniela Drugus and Ioan-Adrian Ciureanu, directors within the University, illegally offered the public procurement contract to SC Maguay Impex SRL Bucharest, a company owned by Corvin Gabriel Pughin, the investigators state.

“In this way, UMF Iasi and the Ministry of Economy and Finances suffered total damages of RON 6,127,481.98,” the prosecutors write in the aforementioned document. Likewise, in November 2010, Astarastoae and Drugus illegally approved a payment of RON 160,000 to the aforementioned company, as “training expenditures.” The training never took place. In his turn, Ciureanu falsely confirmed that the training took place, DNA prosecutors show.

DNA prosecutors heard Astarastoae for more than two hours, presenting him their charges. When leaving the DNA headquarters, the UMF Rector stated he considers himself not guilty. Ciureanu, Drugus and Pughin were placed under 29-day preventive arrest on October 18. The UMF Deputy Rector was heard on Friday morning. DNA is investigating a total of 16 persons and three companies.

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