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September 18, 2019
POLITICS

Former PSD head Mircea Geoana testifies in party bribery case: ‘I came back to court as witness’

Senator Mircea Geoana, a former national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), on Thursday testified at the Bucharest Court of Appeal in a case where politician Gheorghe Bunea Stancu and businessman Ioan Niculae are being tried for corruption crimes related to the funding of the 2009 presidential campaign of the PSD candidate.

Answering to the judges’ questions, Geoana said he knew nothing of a contract having been concluded between Niculae’s Interagro company and the Insomar pollster, arguing that as national leader of PSD back then he had no responsibility for the funding of the 2009 election campaign.

Geoana also said he knows Bunea Stancu as the chairman of the PSD Braila county branch but he had no conversation with him about the appointment of ministers had he won the presidential contest.

He added that he met Niculae several times but only at social events, such as a conference on the sea coast, but there was never the question of him intervening with the Government in support of Interagro.

“I was a witness in the first trial as well. The decision there was to acquit the two defendants. I came back to court in the same capacity as witness at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, where I stuck entirely to my testimonies in the court of the first instance,” Geoana said upon leaving the court room, insisting that there is no connection between him and businessman Niculae.

Also summoned to appear to testify as witnesses in the case were Geoana’s brother-in-law Ionut Costea and owner of daily Adevarul Cristian Burci.

The case has reached the appeal stage, as on November 20, 2013, the Bucharest District 1 Courthouse decided to acquit Gheorghe Bunea Stancu, Ioan Niculae, Gheorghe Teodorescu and Viorel Barac.

Anti-corruption prosecutors on January 11, 2012 brought Chairman of the Braila County Council Gheorghe Bunea Stancu and businessman Ioan Niculae to court over the funding of the election campaigning of PSD’s 2009 presidential candidate Mircea Geoana under the suspicion of the use of the influence and authority arising from holding a leading office in a party in order to win money or other ill-gotten gains and being an accomplice to forged documents under private signature, respectively.

 

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