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October 20, 2020
JUSTICE

Apa Nova case: ex-minister’s wife feels unwell before interview with DNA prosecutors

Lavinia Saniuta, ex-Interior Minister Marian Saniuta’s wife, was invited to be heard by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors in the Apa Nova case on Monday. She was supposed to give deposition as the CEO of Veolia Romania, Apa Nova’s parent company. However, the relatives informed that she had been unwell and was taken to hospital by an ambulance, according to Agerpres.
The company is accused of paying bribe to decision-makers in order to be allowed to raise tariffs in Bucharest. The company profit went up 30% after such practices, DNA prosecutors allege.
Several Veolia Romania directors have been summoned by the prosecutors so far. Marian Saniuta was a PSD Minister of Interior from June to December 2004, as well as a member of the lower Chamber of Parliament, representing the same party.
On Monday, the leader of the trade union at Apa Nova Bucharest, Nicolae Turcuman, appeared before the DNA Ploiesti prosecutors on Monday. He was heard s a witness in the case regarding the purchasing and trafficking in influence.
Two weeks ago, the DNA Ploiesti prosecutors searched Apa Nova company, the Bucharest Municipality and the District 1 Municipality. The case concerns offences committed from 2008 to 2015 by persons in the local public administration – the Bucharest Municipality and the Municipality of District 1 – , but also Apa Nova representatives, based on which the price of water and sewerage services in Bucharest was marked up without justification. Apa Nova rejected all allegations.
DNA prosecutors argued in Court that there was a risk of documents in the Apa Nova being falsified or hidden, according to the motivation by which the Ploiesti Court of Appeal kept the probation order in place in the case of the defendants Costin Berevoianu, Vlad Moisescu and Ovidiu Semenescu. The latter, manager of various companies, was charged with trafficking in influence (two distinct counts) and the former treasurer of PNL, Vlad Moisescu and Costin Berevoianu, Mayor Sorin Oprescu’s private adviser from 2008 to 2015, with trafficking in influence. DNA states in a release that, from 2008 to 2015, the three trafficked in the influence they had with the representatives of various public institutions in Romania (mainly the Bucharest Municipality, the Bucharest City Council and the District 1 Municipality and Council) for the benefit of economic operators belonging to a foreign group of companies, in exchange for important sums obtained from their representatives.
The DNA representatives said in Court that there was ‘a danger of documents being manufactured to justify payments made and that would give them a legal character’, according to ziare.com. No such documents were found when the investigators searched the headquarters of Apa Nova and Veola Apa Servicii.
‘Moreover, the evidence revealed the possibility of documents being hidden, based on which allegedly illegal payments have been made’, DNA also said.

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