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December 1, 2021

Gabriel Sandu and Nicolae Dumitru, involved in “Microsoft” case, moved under house arrest

Former Minister Gabriel Sandu and businessman Nicolae Dumitru “Niro”, prosecuted in the “Microsoft” case, left the Bucharest Police’s detention center yesterday and were placed under house arrest, as a result of the fact that the decision to rescind the preventive arrest measure was not attacked.

In their case the Supreme Court decided on Friday to replace preventive arrest with house arrest, while in the case of Dorin Cocos, Elena Udrea’s ex-husband, and Gheorghe Stefan (aka Pinalti) the court upheld the decision to detain them.

The decision was not final, however since it was not attacked within 48 hours by Sandu and Dumitru the two left preventive arrest yesterday and will now be under house arrest.


Sandu confessed he gave money to Emil Boc and former ministers


The decision to replace the preventive arrest measure with house arrest in Gabriel Sandu and Nicolae Dumitru’s case was requested after they allegedly gave investigators statements through which they supported their release from detention, Mediafax informs. According to the press, Gabriel Sandu allegedly told prosecutors that during his term in office as Communications Minister he financed PDL with approximately EUR 300,000 on a monthly basis.  He allegedly also stated that he gave the money directly to his boss, Premier Emil Boc. Sandu also allegedly told investigators that a part of the bribe money also reached former ministers Adriean Videanu and Radu Berceanu, but also Roberta Anastase.


Emil Boc: “I categorically reject such statements”


Former Premier Emil Boc denied receiving money from Gabriel Sandu as financing for PDL. “I categorically reject such statements, if they were made, I have nothing to do with them and I point out that as Prime Minister I replaced Gabriel Sandu from the office of Communications Minister during the government reshuffle. From this point of view, if I had received money from someone for the party, how could I have reshuffled that person? I don’t understand the context of and the reason behind such a statement. What I can certify is that it has no kind of real basis,” Boc stated for Mediafax.


Several former ministers involved in case


In the Microsof case, businessmen Dorin Cocos and Nicolae Dumitru, and Piatra Neamt Mayor Gheorghe Stefan are accused of influence peddling and money laundering, while Gabriel Sandu, Communications Minister from December 2008 to September 2010, is accused of passive bribery and money laundering. The Supreme Court ordered them placed under preventive arrest on October 29, the arrest warrants being later extended.

According to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Dorin Cocos asked for EUR 17.5 M for him, Gheorghe Stefan and Gabriel Sandu in order to intercede when it came to the purchasing of Microsoft licenses. Of that sum, EUR 15.7 M allegedly entered the accounts of companies controlled by the three directly or through middlemen.

Businessman Nicolae Dumitru, who controls Niro Group, asked for and received, through his company, USD 7.65 M from Fujitsu Siemens Computers in order to intercede with government members Serban Mihailescu and Dan Nica, in order to obtain the signing of the contract on the lease of Microsoft licenses, investigators claim.

Eight other former ministers are also targeted in this case: Senators Serban Mihailescu and Ecaterina Andronescu, Lower Chamber MP Valerian Vreme, MEP Dan Nica, Daniel Funeriu, Alexandru Athanasiu, Mihai Tanasescu and Adriana Ticau.


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