POLITICS

Liberal Senator Mircea Diaconu quits politics

The former minister of Culture says he will no longer run for a new term in the December 9 elections and will return to his “first love,” filmmaking.

PNL Senator Mircea Diaconu, former minister of Culture in the Ponta cabinet, yesterday announced his withdrawal from politics. “First, there is the possibility that I will not get elected again. I will be senator for three more days, and then I decided to no longer run in elections and to quit politics. I chose the most important dignity, of citizen,” Diaconu said, quoted by Mediafax. Asked about his intentions from now on, he ironically answered that he will change the Logan of the Senate, “which is rather old and rickety” with his personal car, an ARO 10, which “is much better and youthful.” Mircea Diaconu added that, in approximately five days, he will start shooting a new and exceptional film, “better than an entire mandate.” “I have an exceptional role, it is called <<With the I.D in Paris.>> I play the main role, of some poor guy of our times, and the scenario is very good,” Diaconu explained.The PNL senator made the announcement while leaving the prosecutor’s office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, where he gave statements in a file that has him probed for conflicting interests. Upon leaving the hearings, where he spent about one hour, Mircea Diaconu avoided making any statement, and only said that in this case prosecutors do not probe any damage, as it is only about a conflict of interests.In 2011, the inspectors of the National Integrity Agency (ANI) reported to the prosecutor’s office of the ICCJ the incompatibility of then senator Mircea Diaconu, who also held the position of manager of the Nottara Theatre of Bucharest. ANI also reported a possible conflict of interests regarding Diaconu, who – as the manager of the theatre – promoted his wife, actress Diana Lupescu as art director of the institution, “directly obtaining a material benefit for his wife.” For these acts, prosecutors started a criminal probe against Diaconu on 4 January 2012.After the first hearing of the former minister of Culture, prosecutors say that they obtained “several factual elements that serve in proving the existence of the crime which makes the subject of the criminal probe, as well as the existence of other crimes of conflicting interest.” “In his quality of manager of a theatre in Bucharest, he facilitated the signing of contracts (intellectual rights, copyright – scenography – and related rights) between the institution he led and director Diana Maria Diaconu (Diana Lupescu), his wife,” prosecutors say. At the middle of June, the PNL senator took act of the expansion of the probe in his case and, the next day, he resigned from the position of minister of Culture. His decisions followed the final decision of the Supreme Court, which declared Mircea Diaconu incompatible, because he simultaneously held the positions of senator and manager of the Nottara Theatre.

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