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January 26, 2023

Viorel Hrebenciuc and Ilie Sarbu, suspects in retrocession case

PSD Senator and former Agriculture Minister Ilie Sarbu and PSD Lower Chamber MP Viorel Hrebenciuc were heard yesterday at the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in Brasov as suspects in a case concerning the illegal retrocession of forests and agricultural land.
Viorel Hrebenciuc was taken by gendarmes to the DNA headquarters. When leaving the hearings Hrebenciuc announced that he was informed that he is a defendant in the case and pointed out that he will show up for hearings every time that is required of him. “I will show up with my lawyer every time I’m summoned,” Hrebenciuc stated. Asked by journalists whether the issue of having his immunity lifted will be raised, Viorel Hrebenciuc stated that the prosecutors will be the ones deciding that.
Ilie Sarbu, who is also the father-in-law of Premier Victor Ponta, left the headquarters of DNA Brasov after approximately one hour, without making statements. Asked by journalists what he discussed with the prosecutors, he stated that he was not heard and does not want to make any statements.
DNA Brasov prosecutors are investigating corruption crimes in connection to the retrocession of property rights over approximately 90,000 hectares of forest and 100 hectares of agricultural land, the DNA informs in a press release.
Based on the evidence gathered by prosecutors, Viorel Hrebenciuc allegedly approached Adam Craciunescu through Senator Ilie Sarbu who has a great deal of influence over the director of RNP Romsilva.
PSD MP Ioan Adam, renowned lawyer in Brasov, was also heard at the headquarters of DNA Brasov. Likewise, Brasov Court judge Roxana Anca Adam, the wife of MP Ioan Adam, was brought in by police for hearings. Covasna Court judges Lorand Andras Ordog and Gabriel Uta were also brought in for hearings by police.
Prince Paul of Romania and Princess Lia are allegedly involved in the retrocession case too. Their Bucharest villa was searched and they will be heard by anticorruption prosecutors. According to judicial sources quoted by Mediafax, Paul Philippe and Lia Georgia, with the support of their lawyer Alina Carmen Ciocoiu and by claiming to be the heirs of the assets owned by the Romanian Royal Family “bought influence from Iacob Sorin Ion.” Iacob allegedly promised them that he will intervene, directly or through other persons, in order to influence the civil servants with prerogatives in restoring the right of property over several plots of land and buildings.
Investigators have conducted 25 searches in Brasov, Bacau and Covasna counties, as well as in Bucharest, five of the searches targeting local public institutions, one a law firm and the rest the headquarters of companies and the homes of individuals, the DNA informs.

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