Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) announced on Friday.
“According to the legal and constitutional provisions,” the DNA opened the procedure of notification of the Chamber of Deputies. The release of the DNA to Agerpres mentions that the charge against Ponta was conflict of interests in his capacity of Prime Minister. The lower chamber of the Parliament has to approve the criminal investigation, as Ponta is also a deputy.
DNA mentions that the prosecutors ordered the investigation on forgery, continued complicity to tax evasion and money laundering in a corruption case involving the legal counselling for the energy companies of Turceni and Rovinari, allegedly perpetrated by Victor Ponta when he was a lawyer. The prosecutors later found that the investigation should be extended to include three counts of conflict of interests after he became Prime Minister.
Upon leaving the DNA offices after hearings on Friday, Ponta confirmed for the attending reporters that he was officially a suspect. Shortly after, he posted on his Facebook page the pictures of several documents in defence of his innocence and wrote: “A couple of pieces of information about the reason of my call to the DNA today. The situation is clear from my point of view. Politics are made in the Parliament, not at the DNA!”
In the Parliament, before Ponta’s visit to the DNA, the Liberal opposition had announced the filing of a censure motion later on Friday.
“I have the quality of suspect”
“Mr. Prosecutor Cheseru called me for 11am. At the end I will tell you why and what”, Ponta told journalists before entering the DNA offices. The Prime Minister was accompanied by his lawyer.
“I have the quality of suspect in Sova’s case for my activity as lawyer in 2007-2008 and conflict of interests that I have nominated Sova as minister,” said the Prime Minister upon leaving DNA’s headquarters.
Censure motion fine, political battle in Parliament, not at prosecutors’
Prime Minister Victor Ponta wrote on his Facebook page on Friday that it was “very good” the National Liberal Party – Democratic Liberal Party (PNL-PDL) are submitting a censure motion, because in a democratic country the political battle is fought in Parliament; he emphasized that the current majority is tightly-knit.
“It is very good that PNL-PDL are submitting a censure motion! In a European democratic country the political battle is fought in Parliament (not at DNA or on websites)! The current majority is tightly knit and has important projects to complete in the coming period – the Fiscal Code, the Wage Law, etc.,” Ponta posted.