Radu Pricop (photo), ex-President Traian Basescu’s son-in-law, is a suspect of complicity to blackmail in the case where Sergiu Lucinschi, the son of the former President of the Republic of Moldova, has been arrested by prosecutors for having extorted EUR 4 M from a businessman in exchange for withdrawing his criminal complaint made with DIICOT.
Pricop reported to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) on Tuesday, and will be back for further depositions the next days.
Radu Pricop took note of the fact that he was a suspect, however he refused to say anything before the prosecutors, claiming he wanted to hire a lawyer first, DNA sources told Mediafax.
The DNA prosecutors have detained businessman Sergiu Lucinschi for blackmail and influence peddling and Constantin Comaneanu, police officer with the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), for bribery, and asked the High Court of Cassation and Justice to arrest them for 30 days.
According to the investigators, from December 2014 to March 2015, Sergiu Lucinschi, with the complicity of other persons, blackmailed a businessman from whom he demanded EUR 4 M although he did not owe him any money, saying that it was only under such conditions that he would withdraw the criminal complaint he had filed with DIICOT for several crimes, including fraudulent management.
Sergiu Lucinschi allegedly told the businessman he could convince the investigators to lift the freezing order placed on his assets and give a favorable decision in his judicial cases regardless of existing evidence. In exchange for his ‘help’, Sergiu Lucinschi allegedly received from the businessman a debenture of EUR 2 M, the prosecutors state in the detention order.
The two allegedly concluded a fictitious loan agreement for the money, under which the businessman acknowledges a debt of EUR 2 M to Lucinschi, which he committed to repay by 24 December 2015. ‘During the same period, in order to add an even stronger impulsion to the afore-described pressure, commensurate with the amount, the defendant Lucinschi Sergiu claimed he had direct and indirect (mediated) influence over the judicial bodies dealing with criminal cases concerning the businessman’, according to investigators.
In the detention order, the prosecutors also state that Sergiu Lucinschi promised the businessman he was blackmailing to ‘do the necessary diligence to have the legal classification of all of his offences changed into criminal offence where investigations cease upon withdrawal of the complaint.
In this context, DIICOT police officer Constantin Comaneanu who was performing specific activities in the case allegedly asked the businessman who was being blackmailed by Lucinschi for a sum, via a go-between, promising that he was able to influence the solution in the case. ‘Moreover, in order to strengthen his confidence, the defendant Comaneanu Constantin, though the same intermediary, sent the businessman a copy of the complaint filed by the defendant Lucinschi Sergiu and also informed him that he was going to be placed under arrest, which actually happened later’, the prosecutors note.
Since the information had been confirmed, after his release, the businessman agreed to pay the go-between EUR 30,000 out of the EUR 50,000 initially demanded, for a favorable decision in his case, the investigators say.
On 30 March, Comaneanu was caught in the act of receiving EUR 5,000 out of the EUR 30,000 offered by the businessman. The investigators questioned Sergiu Lucinschi Monday night, after that had searched his home address in Voluntari, Ilfov County.
Lawyer Radu Pricop is also investigated by DNA in a different case of forgery and fraud in the ‘Bratianu Estate’ case concerning illegal returns of land in Arges County, also involving the National Authority for the Return of Properties as civil party.
DIICOT prosecutor Remus Jurj under criminal investigation
DIICOT prosecutor Remus Jurj is under criminal investigation in the case where lawyer Radu Pricop is also probed into, according to ‘Romania libera’.
DNA says ‘concerning Jurj Tudoran Remus, prosecutor with the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism, and concerning Pricop Radu, lawyer, a member of the Bucharest Bar Association, criminal investigations have commenced for the commission of the criminal offence of complicity to blackmail’.