The National Anticorruption Department (DNA) requested the approval of the President, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the European Parliament in order to start criminal pursuit agent nine former Ministers who, during their respective mandates, allegedly committed crimes related to Microsoft licences for schools.
According to DNA, persons from the Government, Ministries and the companies involved in applying the project of Microsoft licences for schools demanded USD 20 million out of the total sum of 54 million paid by authorities as part of the contract.
Thus, according to DNA, former Ministers Dan Nica, Serban Mihailescu, Ticau Adriana, Alexandru Athanasiu, Mihai Tanasescu and Sandu Gabriel “malevolently exercised their duties, determining the closimg of the frame contract of licence on 15.04.2004 under onerous circumstances for the state budget and granting the possibility of detouring a discount of approximately 47% granted by Microsoft for the Romanian Government and implicitly allowing the payment of fees to involved persons”.
Moreover, the investigators’ clues show that the six former Ministers have demanded and received sums of money in order to wrongfully exercise their influence upon other persons, so that the company Fujitsu Siemens Computers would be favoured at the closing and the application of the Microsoft licence contract.
“Therefore, the Microsoft licence frame contract was signed by violating laws on public acquisitions, falsely mentioning the quality of sole official distributor attributed to Fujitsu Siemens Computers at a price that is at least 40% per cent higher than the real price, based on an illegitimate necessity”, DNA showed.
Mihai Tanasescu was bribed out of Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ earnings
Former Finance Minister during 2000 – 2004 Mihai Tanasescu allegedly demanded and received from behalf of two intermediaries sums of money from the earnings made by Fujitsu Siemens Computers as part of the Microsoft licence contract application.
According to DNA, these sums were cashed during June 2003 – November 2004. Therefore, in July 2004, EUR 82,000 were transferred from the account of a company located in Leichtenstein to the personal account of a relative of the Minister, bearing the mention: “direct investments by Romanian non-residents – other capitals – non-banking”.
Investigation showed that the company from Liechtenstein belonged to one of the intermediaries and was paid by a company that only earned funds transferred by Fujitsu Siemens Computers”, DNA prosecutors pointed out.
Other names of Ministers involved in this case, also aimed by the DNA in their demand for personal pursuit, are Ecaterina Andronescu, Valerian Vreme and Daniel Funeriu.
Gabriel Sandu was bribed EUR 3 million for framework contract of 2009 – 2012
According to DNA, former Communication Minister Gabriel Sandu allegedly received a bribe of EUR 3 million in order to favour a group of companies in a framework contract for the purchase of usage rights for software products, by renting with an opportunity to buy. DNA showed that Gabriel Sandu, Communication and Informational Society Minister during December 2008 – September 2010 is accused of committing abuse of office, bribe – taking, lobbying and money laundering.
Nica: I did not demand money
PSD VicePresident Dan Nica, aimed by the DNA request regarding legal pursuit of nine former Ministers, declared in a press release issued on Saturday that he did not demand money, did not condition bribing or other benefits by anyone and that he does not own and never owned offshore companies. “I don’t own and have never owned offshore companies, directly or indirectly. I never demanded money and I never conditioned contracts on receiving money or other benefits from behalf of anybody. I had no connection with the intermediaries of these contracts, as my adversity towards them is notorious since 2000 and up to this very moment. I never believed and I don’t believe in the necessity of intermediaries, in relation with a monopol”, Nica declared.
Andronescu: I am shocked by DNA allegations. I never asked or received a dime.
Former Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu, targeted in the DNA request regarding legal pursuit for nine ex-Ministers, declared on Friday that she was shocked by the DNA allegations, which she denies, outlining that she never asked and never received a dime. “Bribe taking, money laundering are things that I never ever did, I swear to god. Never in my life have I done such things. I never asked for anybody’s money”, Ecaterina Andronescu declared in a telephone intervention at Realitatea TV. Ex-Minister of Education during 2000 – 2003, 2008 -2009 and 2012, Andronescu powerfully stressed out that she never demanded nor received money while she was Minister.
“I did not demand and I did not receive (money, editor’s note). I want to stress this thing out clearly”, Andronescu, presently a PSD Senator, declared.
Ecaterina Andronescu also expressed discontent to the fact that she was not called to the DNA to be notified about the allegations or to attend a hearing. “I don’t know. Somebody should have called me, to let me know about this. Now, I am truly shocked. (…) This institution should have called me, in order to question me”, Andronescu concluded.
I took no bribe, I did no money laundering, I am a honest man.
Former Minister Alexandru Athanasiu, also aimed by the DNA request regarding legal pursuit of nine Ministers, declared that he took no bribe, did no money laundering and is neither shocked, nor scared by this announcement, but reviews it with calm and peace of the soul. “I am neither shocked, nor scared, because these issues were investigated before by the DNA, several year ago, and underwent serious investigation. Nothing illegal was found. I do not know what to tell you more, I am a jurist and a honest man, I thus take notice of this request filed by the DNA head of prosecutors, he has the right to investigate, but I view all of this with a lot of calm and peace of the soul”, Alexandru Athanasiu declared in a telephone intervention for Realitatea TV. “I took no bribe (…), I did no money laundering, I have no offshore accounts, neither at banks, nor abroad”, said Athanasiu, former Minister of Education and Research during 2003 – 2005.
Asked whether he was invited to attend a hearing, the former Minister gave a negative answer.
Tariceanu is surprised that the file aims many Ministers of the Boc Cabinet
Senate chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu claims that the nine Ministers targeted by the DNA file investigating Microsoft contracts should be granted “the assumption of innocence”, but says that he finds it “surprising” that “so many members of the Boc cabinet” are involved in this file.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu has declared on Saturday, at Sinaia, that the Government “fraudulently” used licences owned by the Microsoft company and was forced to legally purchase them, and that the prosecutors have a duty to investigate whether there was any doubt related to the correctness of some operations”, the Mediafax correspondent reported.
“As far as I know, this file refers to a pretty clear situation: The Romanian Government and the Romanian Administration were fraudulently using – I outline “fraudulently” software licences and, under these circumstances, Microsoft, the rightful owner of these licences, demanded the Government to pay for them at once. It is the duty of the Prosecutors’ Office to investigate and it is great that they are doing just that”, Tariceanu added.
Boc: I had no connection with this issue
Former PM Emil Boc declared on Saturday that he has “no connection whatsoever” with the DNA-initiated file on Microsoft licences, involving nine Ministers, that he was not summoned by prosecutors and had no idea about any violation of the law in this case.
“I cannot comment upon legal meaning. As I see things, any legal investigation should go on until facts are clear. I have no idea about any law violation or felony regarding the deeds we are referring to, but legal pursuit should be allowed”, Emil Boc declared on Saturday in Sinaia, answering questions by journalists.
Asked whether he was summoned by the DNA in this case, Emil Boc gave a negative answer: “I had no connection whatsoever with this issue”.