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December 9, 2022

Former Finance Minister Darius Valcov remains behind bars

Former Finance Minister Darius Valcov will remain under preventive arrest, High Court of Justice (ICCJ) magistrates decided on Monday morning. The Supreme Court’s decision is final, so the former official cannot file an appeal against it.

Although Valcov’s defence demanded the replacement of the preventive arrest measure with house arrest or judicial control, the ICCJ judges rejected their demand. Darius Valcov invoked the fact that he collaborated with prosecutors, that he handed them 47 of the more than 100 paintings he had bought with bribe money and that he admitted his crimes, Realitatea TV informs.

The High Court’s two-judge panel started analyzing on April 17 Valcov’s appeal against the decision that rejected his request to have the preventive arrest measure replaced with a more lenient measure. The panel however could not reach a decision since one judge ruled in favour of the request while the other ruled against it. As a result, a new magistrate became part of the panel on Monday and he rejected Valcov’s appeal.

Darius Valcov was under house arrest from March 26 to April 2 when he was placed under preventive arrest for 23 days. Prosecutors accused the former Finance Minister of intervening, while he was the mayor of Slatina, in the awarding of contracts to a businessman that allegedly promised him 20 per cent of the sums obtained as a result. The former minister was initially prosecuted for influence peddling but prosecutors then expanded the case against him. Thus, Darius Valcov is now also charged with using the information he had access to as a mayor, Senator and minister in order to back a cadastre company, an accounting company and a law firm. Prosecutors claim that the companies were in fact owned by Valcov despite being administered through middlemen. Meanwhile, investigators have confiscated over 100 paintings bought by Valcov, through middlemen, with the money he had obtained from bribes. The former official was planning to open an art gallery that would have included the works of famous painters.

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