The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Friday decided that Senator Dan Sova be placed under house arrest, in a case in which he stands accused of influence peddling in respect to a legal assistance contract signed with CET Govora.
The judges with the Supreme Court rejected the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) request on placing Dan Sova under pre-trial arrest and decided to place him under house arrest.
The decision is not final and the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) can appeal it.
Dan Sova was brought to the court room when the decision was read out and then taken handcuffed to the Bucharest Police detention centre, scheduled to be released around 16:00hrs, when the detainment order expired.
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.