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September 28, 2020

DIICOT requests prison sentence for former ministers Seres and Nagy

Supreme Court Judges have postponed ruling in the strategic privatizations file until November 19. ICCJ (High Court of Cassation and Justice) judges decided to postpone ruling in the so-called ‘strategic privatizations’ file involving former ministers Codrut Seres and Zsolt Nagy until November 19. In Tuesday’s hearing the two defendants went before the court to try to convince judges of their innocence. Codrut Seres, former Minister of Economy, stated that the energy distribution sector “cannot be considered a sector that affects national security.” “I agree that the general public should benefit from all privatizations. However, I also agree the set price should be compliant with the Regulatory Agency. Consequently, the state has a right to control all the activities of a private company,” Seres explained.
The former Minister of Economy wished to state for the record that the legislation referred to by prosecutors in the indictment is not the valid legislation during his term as member of the government. “We are talking about an entirely different context in 2005 compared to the legislation from ’91 mentioned in the indictment, given that Romania was a member of NATO in 2005 and on the way to becoming part of the European Union. The indictment refers to the legislation from 1991, when Romania’s enemy was not the same as between 2005 and 2006,” Seres said.
At Monday’s hearing, the DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) prosecutor requested imprisonment sentences for former ministers Codrut Seres and Zsolt Nagy, as well as for the other defendants charged in the strategic privatizations file, after proving the evidence on file corroborates the charges.
According to prosecutors, the investigation showed that all evidence gathered by DIICOT proves the charges brought against Seres – abetting, and complicity to infractions committed by an organized criminal group and treason by disclosure of secrets – are substantiated.
No less than 60 hearings have taken place in connection with the trial involving former ministers Seres and Nagy and the sentence will be subject to appeal by a panel of five ICCJ judges.
On March 30, 2009, DIICOT prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Codrut Seres, former Minister of Economy, Zsolt Nagy, former Minister of Communications, and four other persons, in connection with the strategic privatizations file and charged them with adhering to a transnational organized criminal group. DIICOT prosecutors claim that between May 30, 2005 and November 21, 2006 the accused constituted or adhered to a transnational organized criminal group that also included Vadim Benyatov, Stamen Stanchev, Dorinel Mihai Mucea, and Mihai Radu Donciu, for the purpose of attaining financial or material benefits either directly or indirectly. Codrut Seres was also charged for treason by disclosure of secrets and Michal Susak and Mircea Calin Flore were also charged with conspiracy to espionage.
The charges facing the six defendants include illicit criminal activities related to the privatization of SC Electrica Muntenia Sud, selling 8pc of Petrom shares, conducting privatization/restructuring processes at SC Romero SA Bucuresti and SC Avioane SA Craiova, part of the MEC – OPSPI portfolio, offering consultancy in privatizing SN Radiocomunicatii, adjudicating the bid to ensure consultancy in the restructuring and privatizing of CN Posta Romana, part of the MCTI portfolio, and selecting the international consultant by bid, in charge of listing the 46pc shares package owned by the Romanian state at SC Romtelecom SA on the stock exchange, part of the MCTI portfolio.

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