Senator Dan Sova on Thursday was detained for 24 hours by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), in a case in which he is accused of influence peddling in connection with a legal assistance contract signed with CET Govora.
Dan Sova was summoned at the DNA headquarters at 15:00hrs, for hearings.
Around 16:20hrs, he was taken out handcuffed and taken by car to the Bucharest Police detention centre.
His detainment comes after the Senate approved on Thursday morning the DNA request to this end.
In this case, the judges with the High Court of Cassation and Justice rejected on Wednesday the request for pre-trial arrest of Mihai Balan.
According to the DNA, October 2011 – July 2014, Dan Sova claimed amounts of money and received a total of 100,000 euros from a denouncer, in exchange for peddling his real influence with the CET Govora SA director general Mihai Balan, so that the latter would ensure the signing of a legal assistance contract with a certain law firm, a contract in the form of a monthly subscription, for 10,000 euros per month.
“Dan Sova told the denouncer he could ensure the signing of a legal assistance contract with CET Govora SA, in the form of a monthly subscription, and the contract value will amount to 10,000 per month. In exchange for this service, Sova claimed from the denouncer the amount of 5,000 euros for each month during the contract execution, namely half of the monthly value of the future legal assistance contract that was going to be concluded between CET Govora and the respective law firm,” the prosecutors maintain.
DNA points out that in December 2011, CET Govora, represented by Mihai Balan, as director general, and the law form concluded the legal assistance contract, with the payment set at 10,000 euros per month.
The contract was concluded for a one-year period, and its object concerned legal activities for disputes involving CET Govora.
“In the period December 2011 – December 2012, the law firm issued monthly invoices for the legal assistance activities conducted over December 2011 – December 2012. In the same period, Sova collected from the law firm the total amount of 60,000 euros. The money was collected in cash, each month, through an intermediary, shortly after the law firm collected the money from CET Govora. In December 2012, the legal assistance contract terminated by reaching its term. At that time, Balan was no longer CET director. In March 2013, Mihai Balan came back as CET Govora director general,” the investigators explain.
Moreover, in May 2013, CET Govora, represented by Balan, and the same law firm signed another legal assistance contract, the payment being set at 10,000 euros per month.
“The contract was concluded on a one-year period and its object referred to legal activities for the disputes CET Govora was involved in. In the contract unfolding period, Dan Sova collected the commission for 40,000 euros. The investigations in the case revealed that most part of the money received by Sova was directed to clearing a debt resulting from the defendant’s obligations as buyer of a home located in Bucharest,” the investigators also showed.
The prosecutors found that Mihai Balan concluded two contracts with the law firm in question and in the period January 2012 – August 2014, he approved on behalf of CET the payments corresponding to those contracts, in violation of the legal provisions, a conduct which led to the damage of the legal interests of the state-owned company by over 1.3 million lei.
Senators okay arrest, remand in custody with 95-to-30 votes
The Romanian Upper Chamber of the Parliament approved on Thursday morning the arrest and remand in custody of the Social Democrat senator Dan Sova, endorsing the Justice Minister’s demand 95-to-30 votes.
“By counting the votes expressed by the senators, through ball secret ballot, in accordance with Art. 135 and 136 of the Regulation of the Senate, (…) the Committee of votes’ counting has found the following: total number of senators – 165; total number of votes expressed – 127, of which 95 ‘in favour’ and 30 ‘against’ – 30 and two annulled. Considering that, based on the vote expressed, the vote of the majority of senators was gathered, (…) the Senate allows the arrest and remand in custody of Mr. Senator Sova Dan,” announced from the Upper Chamber’s rostrum, senator Laurentiu Coca.
The sitting Chair, Ioan Chelaru added that the Senate’s Decision of Sova’s arrest and remand in custody will be sent to the Justice Minister.