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February 3, 2023
JUSTICE

Microsoft case: Cocos, Sandu and Dumitru plead guilty

Dorin Cocos (photo), Gabriel Sandu and Nicolae Dumitru on Monday pleaded guilty of the criminal offences of which they are standing accused in what is known as the Microsoft case, before a panel of judges at the Supreme Court of Justice. Co-defendant Gheorghe Stefan pleaded non-guilty.

The three defendants want to be extended a simplified procedure whereby their punishment is reduced by one third because they plead guilty of the offences as mentioned in their indictment.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) alleges that a framework licencing agreement between Microsoft and the Romanian Government of April 15, 2004, was concluded under detrimental terms to the national budget, as it allowed for the embezzlement of a discount of 47 percent awarded by Microsoft that allowed for commission fees to be paid to the persons involved.

The investigators argue that the framework contract was concluded in violation of public procurement legislation, pointing to the false representation of Fujitsu Siemens Computers as the sole distributor at a price that was at least 40 percent over the real price, as the demand was ungrounded.

“In 2009, public institutions had 150,694 licences acquired in 2004-2008 under a licensing business contract for Microsoft products 0115 RO and additional documents. The effects of the contract ended on April 26, 2009, when the non-exclusive right to use the licences also expired. Given the expiration of the right to use the licences and the effects of the licence lease agreement, a new business opportunity came along in the distribution of Microsoft licences to the Romanian Government,” DNA said back then.

Thus, in the spring of 2009, Cocos, Stefan, Sandu and other persons met to discuss general matters related to the possibilities of the Romanian Communications Ministry for the finalisation of the contract with Fujitsu Siemens Computers to secure the continuation in the use of the necessary licences: exercising the right to buy or concluding a new lease agreement.

“Part of the public procurement procedure to secure the award of the contract to the business association led by D-CON.NET AG, Dorin Cocos demanded from a person involved in the case ill-gotten gains for Gheorghe Stefan and Gabriel Sandu as follows: Gabriel Sandu – 2,700,000 euros and 1,800,000 euros, Gheorghe Stefan – 4,000,000 euros, Dorin Cocos – 9,000,000 euros. The records of the public procurement procedure show that restrictive qualification criteria had been set in place so as to disqualify from the procurement any other bidder than the association led by D-CON.NET AG; consequently, a framework agreement was signed with this business association on August 12, 2009, whereby the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society acquired the provision of the right to use software products under lease with a buy option,” DNA said, according to Agerpres.

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