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September 21, 2020

Senator Sova under criminal investigation for complicity to abuse of office

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) informs that prosecutors ordered the launching of a criminal investigation on Senator Dan Sova for three counts of complicity to abuse of office, allegedly perpetrated while he was the legal representative of the Sova & Associates law firm, and resulting in obtaining undue benefits for himself or for others.

A criminal investigation also begun on Dumitru Cristea, then general manager and authorizing officer of the Turceni Energy Complex, for five counts of abuse of office, resulting in undue benefits for himself or for others; one of them was a continued offence.

Former Transport Minister Dan Sova said Wednesday on leaving the headquarters of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) that he was summoned as a suspect in a case involving contracts with the energy complexes Turceni and Rovinari.

He said the charge is complicity to abuse of office.

‘Yes, I am a suspect in this case. I can assure you, as I’ve just been to the hearings, that Victor Ponta’s name was not mentioned at all. There is no connection between Victor Ponta and this file,’ Sova said when asked about a possible involvement of the Premier in this case.

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) Senator pointed out this file regards the contracts involving Rovinari and Turceni.

‘The prosecutors informed us about some irregularities. They are connected to three of the contracts with Rovinari and Turceni. … Thanks to these contracts, we managed to bail out Rovinari and Turceni from bankruptcy in the trials with ICM (the company Closing Preservation Mines) and a debt between Turceni and Electrica regarding a series of payments,’ Sova argued.

When asked if he managed to get these contracts with the help of Ponta who was partner with his law office, Sova denied, stressing that neither the prosecutors made reference to this matter.

According to Sova, his compensation was proportional, namely 1-2 percent of the total amount, being a successful fee.

He also denied the fact that some of the money would have gone to Ponta’s law firm.

Dan Sova said the selection procedure of his company was transparent and was carried out through call to tender, with various law firms attending.

‘[The prosecutors] want to find out more about the circumstances in which these three contracts were signed, given that there was a framework contract. … It’s a common practice at all law firms in Romania,’ the PSD senator said.

Sova said his resignation as transport minister had nothing to do with this file.

‘I had no idea this file existed. I’ve been told that the criminal proceedings were launched on July 30, and I resigned on June 24,’ he stressed, explaining once again that the reason for his resignation regarded his nomination as spokesperson of PSD.

Sova added he does not believe this file puts his political career in danger or will affect the presidential campaign of Victor Ponta.

‘These facts occurred before I got involved in politics,’ he explained.

The Social Democratic senator said he sees no coincidence between the launch of the criminal investigation in this file and this year’s presidential elections.

‘It’s the prosecutors’ right. They have to investigate, we answer their questions and throw light on this matter. … I am not afraid of any investigation, anyone has the right to notify the Prosecutor’s Office, … and I have to come up with answers, like any other citizen of Romania,’ Sova concluded.

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