COMPANIES ECONOMY ENERGY JUSTICE

Prosecutors continue hearings in Petromidia case. Ex-Premier Adrian Nastase heard as witness

After KazMunayGas directors officially found out on Tuesday about the levy enforced by the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) in the Petromidia case, prosecutors summoned other persons for hearings on Wednesday.

Businessman Sorin Marin, Dinu Patriciu’s former business partner and Rompetrol shareholder, was the first to arrive at the DIICOT headquarters.

Alexandru Nicolcioiu, KazMunayGas International (formerly Rompetrol Group) Production Director, and Adrian Constantin Volintiru, former Financial Director of several companies members of Rompetrol Group, such as Rompetrol Rafinare and Rompetrol Downstream, were also summoned for hearings on Wednesday.

Prosecutors informed the three that they are suspects in the case and that they have placed levies upon their tangible assets.

Ex-Premier Adrian Nastase was also summoned by prosecutors to be heard as a witness in the case concerning the privatisation of Petromidia. Likewise, Rodica Stanoiu, former Justice Minister in the Nastase Government, was summoned as a witness, Romania TV informs. The privatisation of Petromidia is considered the biggest embezzlement case in Romania.

A former Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) officer told investigators that former ministers Mihai Tanasescu and Dan Ioan Popescu were the main backers of the idea that the government should adopt an emergency ordinance that would transform the arrears of Rompetrol Rafinare (company that owns Petromidia) into bonds.

DIICOT investigators are talking about almost USD 700 M in damage in the case in which they are probing the oil company’s fraudulent privatisation. The case was disjoined from the Rompetrol case in which billionaire Dinu Patriciu was among those investigated.

In this new case, 14 persons are suspected of, among others, tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering and fraud. Kazakh investors stated in a communiqué that at the time they bought the company, back in 2007, they were not officially informed about the investigations DIICOT now refers to, investigations concerning the 1998-2003 period.

The representatives of KazMunayGas had their first faceoff with DIICOT prosecutors on Tuesday, after prosecutors enforced a levy upon Rompetrol assets.

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