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April 13, 2021

Hrebenciuc, prosecuted in ‘Giga TV licence withdrawal’ case

DNA says other people are under investigation in the same case.

PSD MP Viorel Hrebenciuc has been prosecuted because – investigators say – acted to determine National Audio-Visual Council (CNA) officials to have the institution reconsider its decision to withdraw the Giga TV licence, the TV station being under the control of Piatra Neamt Mayor Gheorghe Stefan, Mediafax notes. CNA member Narcisa Iorga is also suspect in this file according to judicial sources.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) confirmed in a release yesterday that Hrebenciuc was under criminal investigation for using his influence or authority for obtaining for himself or for another person money, goods or other undue benefits, as a person who held a lead position in a political party. According to DNA, other persons are being investigated in the same case. ‘In these procedures, the suspect Hrebenciuc Viorel used his influence and authority as a member of the leading bodies of his party’, DNA points out.
DNA further claims that, by using his influence and authority, MP Viorel Hrebenciuc caused a notable and actual disturbance of the activity of CNA by an undue expansion of competence and violation of audio-visual legislation, which allowed the further operation of a TV station whose licence had been correctly withdrawn. ‘That implicitly affected the other TV operators, both in terms of unlawful competition and of trust in the correctness of the work of the only body whose duty is to monitor the audio-visual area and enforce specific legislation’, DNA adds, noting that the PSD MP was informed on the charges brought against him yesterday.
PSD MP Viorel Hrebenciuc said, on his way out of DNA yesterday, that he believes to be ‘a collateral victim’ and added that he would hire a lawyer and would return to DNA for depositions.
The PSD MP had been heard by prosecutors in the same case on July 25, when he said he had made a statement as a witness in the case of PPDD’s complaint where he explained to the investigators the institutional relationship between the Parliament and the National Audio-Visual Council (CNA).
At the time he was asked in what relations he was with Piatra Neamt Mayor Gheorghe Stefan. Viorel Hrebenciuc answered he was in no relationship with him.
Asked whether he had intervened with CNA members in Gheorghe Stefan’s favour to obtain a licence for a TV station, Hrebenciuc said: ‘No way!’ Asked if he had discussed with CNA members in order to favour a certain TV station in its effort to obtain a licence, Hrebenciuc said: ‘Never’.
The prosecutors note that the TV station in favour of which Hrebenciuc allegedly intervened lost its broadcasting licence on September 17, 2013, after it had stopped broadcasting the programme service for which it received the licence for over 96 hours, for any reasons imputable to the licence holder. During the CAN meeting on that date, Giga TV, controlled by Gheorghe Stefan, lost its licence, the decision being made by a vote of seven in favour (Laura Georgescu, Lorand Turos, Monica Gubernat, Viorel Vasile Buda, Christian Mititelu, Cristina Trepcea and Rasvan Popescu) and four against ( Valentin Jucan, Narcisa Iorga, Florin Gabrea and Radu Calin Cristea) with 11 members attending.

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