A witness in Andrei Chiliman’s case told the prosecutors that important sums from the bribe taken by the criminal group organised at the District 1 Municipality ended up with Sebastian Ghita’s companies and his Romania TV station as advertising contracts, according to Realitatea TV.
In the case of District 1 Mayor, Andrei Chiliman, currently investigated into under a probation order for setting up an organised criminal group and complicity in influence peddling Crin Antonescu’s name appear in a discussion Vlad Moisescu and Adrian Semcu were having. Semcu is a Liberal, former Vice-President of Prahova County Council, currently Managing Director of the Hidro Prahova local company and charged in the case of Iulian Hertanu, PM Victor Ponta’s brother-in-law. According to the transcripts, Vlad Moisescu seemed unhappy with Crin Antonescu’s demands, to whom he had supposedly given EUR 150,000 for his election campaign. ‘F…k Crin, too! Didn’t I give him 150 thousand in the camping?! That should be enough!’ was the line the prosecutors captured in the recording of the conversation, according to Stiri pe surse.
Some of the bribe would be fed to TV stations, not just Romania TV, but also B1 TV, where the Chiliman – Moisescu ring was guiding the companies working with the District 1 Municipality to buy advertising time. By that, they were buying themselves the protection of the channels which they were indirectly funding with money from bribe, the prosecutors say, in documents published by Mediafax.
‘This protection consisted in the fact that nothing negative on them was published and, if something had appeared, by accident, they would have been able to stop it, using their contractual relations’, the prosecutors explain.
Realitatea TV further notes that there are transcripts on file of conversations between Vlad Moisescu and Sebastian Ghita. According to the latest information, the owners of the companies that would not pay the bribe would never be awarded contracts from the District 1 Municipality and were even threatened. The operating mechanism was uncovered by several protected witnesses, according to whom the share charged per contract was set by Vlad Moisescu, the leader of the criminal group also including Andrei Chiliman. The bribe was exclusively delivered cash to Vlad Moisescu or Ioana Costescu, at the Municipality or the PNL offices. The value of the bribe also doubled in time, from 7% in 2007 to 15% in 2012.
It seems that Moisescu, who was the mastermind behind the scheme, was trafficking in influence not only at the City Hall headed by Chiliman, but also at the office of the Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu. ‘According to the DNA report in the matter, the activity of Vlad Moisescu went beyond the District 1 Municipality, to the Government led by Calin Popescu Tariceanu, in the sense that he was trafficking in influence in order to have senior civil servants (secretaries of state or heads of agencies or state-owned companies) hired to lead positions in ministries, companies etc, in return for various sums received from those’, Ziua informs.
District 1 Mayor Chiliman remanded on conditional bail, suspended for two months
Bucharest’s District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman dodged preventive arrest on Friday, the High Court of Justice (ICCJ) rejecting the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) request. However, Supreme Court magistrates dealt a heavy blow to the Liberal Mayor: he no longer has the right to be mayor for at least 60 days. He stated for journalists on Saturday morning, outside the police precinct where he was about to be informed about the bail’s conditions, that all the charges against him are “null.”
“You will see everything is null,” Andrei Chiliman stated the moment he arrived at Precinct 1 where he was about to find out his bail’s conditions, Romania TV informs.
When leaving the precinct, Andrei Chiliman pointed out that he cannot exercise his term as mayor for two months but that he does not consider filing his resignation.
“For the time being for two months I don’t have the right to be a mayor and my colleagues will take care of it during this time,” Andrei Chiliman stated.
“There is no kind of, there is no resignation,” Chiliman answered when asked whether he is thinking of filing his resignation.
Chiliman also stated that the case he is investigated in does not concern “any kind of bribery.”
The District 1 Mayor will have to show up at the precinct twice per week.
“The case I was summoned for has nothing to do with any kind of bribery. There is no kind of evidence there. Let’s leave the judiciary to do its work. There was no money, there was no passive bribery, no active bribery. For the time being I will show up twice a week,” Andrei Chiliman added.
Andrei Chiliman, Bucharest’s District 1 Mayor, will be investigated while on conditional bail, after an ICCJ judge rejected the DNA prosecutors’ preventive arrest request. The mayor was detained on Thursday evening and DNA prosecutors brought him before the ICCJ on Friday, asking the court to place him under preventive arrest for being an accessory to influence peddling and for setting up an organized crime group.
The ICCJ took the same decision in the case of Vlad Moisescu (former PNL treasurer), Ioana Costescu (the mayor’s personal advisor) and Ion Brad (local council member), all indicted in the same case.
The decision is not final and prosecutors can appeal against it.
Andrei Chiliman was detained on Thursday evening by DNA prosecutors who filed a 30-day preventive arrest request on his name later on Friday. The detention order expired shortly before 9 p.m. and the District 1 mayor was able to leave the court as a free man. The court announced the decision to place the mayor on conditional bail just before midnight. The decision is not final.
“I maintained my statements. I consider myself completely innocent,” Andrei Chiliman stated when leaving the ICCJ after the court hearing ended and the court had yet to rule.
Andrei Chiliman was detained by DNA Ploiesti prosecutors on Thursday, alongside Vlad Moisescu (former PNL treasurer), Ioana Costescu (the mayor’s personal advisor) and Ion Brad (local council member), persons for whom prosecutors filed similar requests.
According to the DNA, starting in 2004, after the local elections, a criminal group was created at the initiative of Vlad Moisescu, a group that included Andrei Chiliman, Ioana Costescu and Ion Brad, which was supposed to focus on obtaining commissions ranging between 10 and 15 per cent of the value of contracts awarded by the mayoralty to various companies.
The group is thus thought to have obtained over EUR 8 M from SC Straco SRL, via Traian Horpos and Alexandru Horpos, money that represented 10 per cent of payments made by the District 1 Mayoralty to the company from 2007 to 2014 on the basis of several public works contracts. Moreover, the group obtained from SC Romair Consulting SRL, represented by Gheorghe Boeru, the sum of RON 300,000.
The case is the result of investigations conducted by DNA Ploiesti in another case, one involving Iulian Hertanu, PM Victor Ponta’s brother-in-law, MPs Sebastian Ghita and Vlad Cosma, suspended Prahova County Council Chairman Mircea Cosma, SC Grossman General Manager Ilie Dragan, Hidro Prahova General Manager Adrian Semcu and SC Romair Consulting SRL General Manager Gheorghe Boeru.
Bribe shares: 30 pc Chiliman, 15 pc each Moisescu, Costescu and Brad, 10 pc PNL District 1 branch
According to judicial sources quoted by Agerpres, the money received as bribe is said to have been divided among Bucharest District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman and his entourage – Vlad Moisescu, Ioana Costescu, Ion Brad – and to have also reached the National Liberal Party’s (PNL) District 1 branch.
According to the aforementioned source, Chiliman is said to have received 30 per cent of the sum, Vlad Moisescu, Ioana Costescu and Ion Brad, 15 per cent each, and 10 per cent is alleged to have reached the PNL District 1 branch.
The difference of 15 per cent is said to have been used for various expenses related to the additional payment of officials who supported the illicit activities.
National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Ploiesti prosecutors are investigating offenses related to the payment of a sum of RON 300,000 in the summer of 2012, in cash, at the headquarters of Bucharest’s District 1 Mayoralty, Vlad Moisescu having received the money through trusted persons – Ioana Costescu and Local Councilman Ion Brad.
The aforementioned sources claim that persons holding or having held positions within political parties, as well as public officials with management capacities, allegedly asked for and received sums of money in exchange for awarding public works contracts in Bucharest’s District 1.
According to the sources, part of the money received by SC Romair Consulting SRL from public funds, including those received from SC Hidro Prahova SA, is said to have been transferred, at Gheorghe Boeru’s order, without real economic justifications, withdrawn in cash and used for his personal interest for the payment of a commission, in exchange for support granted to obtain a contract from Bucharest’s District 1 Mayoralty on 13 September 2011. The contract concerned works on upgrading the building envelopes of apartment buildings located in District 1.
The money is said to have been paid, according to the sources, following an understanding Boeru had with Moisescu and Costescu, the latter being Mayor Andrei Chiliman’s advisor.
PNL’s Gorghiu, on Chiliman: If he is arrested he will be suspended
National Liberal Party (PNL) Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated that Andrei Chiliman, accused of influence peddling and of setting up an organized crime group, will be suspended if placed under preventive arrest, because “the party statute is the same for everyone.”
Gorghiu stated on Friday at a press conference in Sibiu that Mayor Andrei Chiliman will be suspended if he ends up being placed under preventive arrest.
“In general, it is not a pleasure to talk about corruption suspicions. I will continue by telling you that, just as any person, irrespective of political stripes, he benefits from the presumption of innocence but that our statute is very clear. If a member of the National Liberal Party’s leadership is detained or arrested – and I understand the District 1 Mayor will appear before the High Court of Justice where a 29-day arrest warrant has been requested on his name if I’m not mistaken – then he will be suspended,” Alina Gorghiu stated.
She stated that “the statute is the same for everyone” and will be applied.
“I am glad we took this decision because otherwise we would have been in an impossible situation of judging each case on a case-by-case basis, consequently the statute stipulation will be applied. I regret we are witnessing this kind of cases which, unfortunately, affect the National Liberal Party and I hope they will be ever-fewer,” Gorghiu concluded.
Andrei Chiliman is First Vice President of PNL.