Businessmen Dorin Cocos and Dumitru Nicolae, ex-Minister Gabriel Sandu and ex-Piatra Neamt Mayor Gheorghe Stefan (photo) were placed on probation in the Microsoft case by the High Court on Monday. The decision is not final and may be challenged by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors before the High Court of Cassation and Justice, therefore the four defendants are for now on house arrest.
Cocos, Sandu and Nicolae and Stefan were arrested on 29 October 2014. Gabriel Sandu and Dumitru Nicolae were on remand until 25 January, when, after allegedly making denunciations in the case, they were placed on house arrest by the High Court.
In Dorin Cocos’ case, the Court replaced, on 23 February, the preventive arrest with house arrest, accepting DNA’s proposal, after Elena Udrea’s ex-husband had also reportedly made a denunciation in the Microsoft case. Cocos, however, remained under arrest until 21 April, as he was the subject of a second preventive arrest warrant, in the Bica 2 case.
Gheorghe Stefan, the last to be arrested in the Microsoft case, was released and placed under house arrest on 15 April.
The four of them were brought to trial in the Microsoft case on 23 March.
Dorin Cocos, Nicolae Dumitru and Gheorghe Stefan were charged with influence peddling and money laundering and ex-Minister of Communications and Information Society (December 200 8 – September 2010) Gabriel Sandu , with bribery and money laundering.
The prosecutors claim that Dorin Cocos demanded and received EUR 9 M from Claudiu Florica and Dinu Pescariu in return for him helping the companies supported by Florica, via Elena Udrea, Minister of Regional Development and Tourism and PDL Vice-President at the time, obtain Microsoft licensing contracts for the Ministry of Communications and Information Society.
According to DNA, Dorin Cocos also asked for EUR 17.5 M for himself, Gheorghe Stefan and Gabriel Sandu, in order for helping with the acquisition of Micorosoft use licences. 15.7 M euro of the sum allegedly ended up into the accounts of companies controlled by the three defendants, directly or through other parties.
Other eight former ministers and senators Serban Mihailescu and Ecaterina Andronescu, deputy Valerian Vreme, MEP Dan Nica, Daniel Funeriu, Alexandru Athanasiu, Mihai Tanasescu and Adriana Ticau are also concerned in the Microsoft case.