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March 23, 2023

Defence Minister’s step son sent to Court in referendum fraud case

Dumitru Samson, the step son of Defence Minister Corneliu Dobritoiu, is accused of organising an operation to mobilise Cluj County voters to go to the polls in exchange for material benefits such as money, food and drinks. Dumitru Samson and other 16 people have been sent to trial on charges of offering money and goods in order to determine citizens to participate in the referendum for the dismissal of President Traian Basescu. High Court prosecutors have referred Samson to court for promising, offering or giving money, goods or other benefits to people in exchange for them voting in the referendum, and association for committing criminal offences. Six individuals appearing in the same case, are also charged with accessory to the offence of promising, offering or giving money, goods and other benefits in order to determine people to vote in the referendum, association in view of committing crimes and multiple voting. The prosecutors argue that, in order to mobilise the electorate, Dumitru Samson sought the help of other people whom he brought from Bucharest for that purpose, as well as a known local Cluj-Napoca underworld head. With their assistance, he contacted leaders of economically deprived communities asking for their help to capacitate them to vote in the referendum for various sums of money. The co-defendants were rewarded – prosecutors say – for their services with RON 14,000. Through them, Samson Dumitru paid money (RON 50 each) to voters, residents of a community of the commune of Floresti (Cluj County) and gave goods (food and drinks worth RON 1,500) to a community of residents of the Pata Rat neighbourhood in order for them to participate in the referendum.The case is now pending with the Cluj-Napoca Court House.  Dumitru Samson had been prosecuted in August for influence peddling, promising or giving money or other benefits in order to determine citizens to vote in the referendum. At the time, DNA also prosecuted PNL Alba President Teodor Atanasiu.

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