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December 3, 2021

PM accuses Basescu and PDL of meddling with Voiculescu trial

Premier Ponta on Friday accused suspended president Traian Basescu and the members of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) of attempting to interfere with the Dan Voiculescu trial on the privatization of the Food Research Institute (ICA) by means of a director appointed in 2005, during the term in office of former agriculture minister Gheorghe Flutur (PDL), Mediafax reports. The director in question submitted to the file a separate opinion according to which the estimated damage had been reduced or cancelled in order to appear that the Government actually wanted to step in the process. The view submitted to the Bucharest Tribunal by Rela Stefanescu was formulated by an independent expert accountant, without the ministry agreement, and influenced the damage investigated in the sense of its reduction or cancellation. Rela Stefanescu is director at the Juridical Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.Ponta specified that Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin notified the Bucharest Tribunal that this separate view was submitted without the ministry’s approval and in violation of the law, suspended the research director from his position and submitted a penal complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Directorate against him.In his turn, Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin made the point that the opinion included a string of technical details according to which the estimated damage was “reduced or no longer the case”.Asked by journalists how could this case be linked to Basescu and the PDL, the minister answered that “it is obvious” such intervention during campaign is conducive to this idea, mainly that there is a contract struck between the ministry and the independent expert who drew up the separate opinion.

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