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December 5, 2022

Basescu okays criminal investigations on Videanu and Silaghi

Adriean Videanu is being investigated for plotting and undermining national economy
and Ovidiu Silaghi is being investigated for influence peddling.

According to the Presidential Administration, yesterday President Traian Basescu sent the Prosecutor General’s requests for initiating criminal proceedings on the former Minister of Economy and Minister of Transport, Adriean Videanu (PDL) and Ovidiu Silaghi (PNL), respectively, to the Ministry of Justice. The cited source also reported that Basescu has also notified the Prosecutor’s Office attached to ICCJ (the High Court of Cassation and Justice), Mediafax informs.
Adriean Videanu, for whom DIICOT (the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) had requested approval to initiate criminal proceedings at the start of last week, is being investigated for “plotting and undermining national economy”. Prosecutors intercepted negotiations taking place between Adriean Videanu and businessman Ioan Niculae regarding ways in which Niculae and his company (SC Interagro SA) could buy cheaper gas. According to the prosecutors quoted by Mediafax, Interagro was not allowed to receive cheaper gas because of its outstanding debts and lack of eligibility.
We remind our readers that, also at the start of last week, the general prosecutor at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to ICCJ also requested the Senate to set in motion procedures for formulating a request to initiate criminal proceedings on Minister of Economy Varujan Vosganian because he appointed unqualified persons in the General Shareholder’s Assembly and the Board of Directors of Romgaz in order to ensure his decisions favouring businessman Ioan Neculae would be implemented more easily.
Ovidiu Silaghi is being investigated for influence peddling in continued form and the general prosecutor at PICCJ (the Prosecutor’s Office at the High Court of Cassation and Justice) requested the President’s approval at the end of last week regarding initiating criminal proceedings on the former Minister of Transport, as he had resigned from the Parliament and the approval cannot be given by the Chamber of Deputies.

According to Art. 109, paragraph 2 of the Constitution, “The Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the President of Romania alone are entitled to request the initiation of criminal proceedings on members of the government for deeds committed while practising their profession”. Prosecutors at DNA (the National Anticorruption Directorate) charged Silaghi because he allegedly took EUR 200.000 bribe from businessman Nelu Iordache (already arrested in connection to another case) in exchange for not terminating on-going contracts. According to the prosecutors, there is ‘evidence and sound data’ pointing to the fact that , in 2012 Ovidiu Silaghi – then Minister of Transport asked Iordache Nelu – manager of SC Romstrade SRL – to open new routes through one of the air transport companies controlled by him between the Airport in Satu Mare and European countries, in exchange for ensuring that the contracts concluded between SC Romstrade SRL and CNADNR (the Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads SA, under the authority of the Ministry of Transport) are performed and intermediary payments are made within a reasonable amount of time. Businessman Nelu Iordache gave a statement to DNA in relation to Ovidiu Silaghi file, saying that he gave the latter the amount of EUR 200.000 in exchange for not terminating the contracts and that the former Minister of Transport used a jamming device against interception. Iordache also told investigators that, according to Sliaghi, his godson, Adrian Stef needed an expansion of Blue Air company airlines for running his campaign for the County Council of Satu Mare. At the end of August, while making a statement on another case, Silaghi said Nelu Iordache’s accusation “defies logic”.

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