On Thursday, Sorin Ovidiu Vintu (photo) was taken from the Rahova Penitentiary to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in order to be heard in regard to a memo he had forwarded to anticorruption prosecutors, Agerpres informs. It seems the businessman was heard in a case concerning the purchase of influence, judicial sources stating that a politician is involved in the case, one to whom Vintu had allegedly promised EUR 1 M in return for rendering a service, News.ro informs.
The names of ex-premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu, former Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Romania Bogdan Olteanu and former Danube Delta Governor Liviu Mihaiu are allegedly mentioned in the case file. Calin Popescu Tariceanu was Premier when journalist Liviu Mihaiu was appointed Governor of the Danube Delta. Just three months afterward, Tariceanu vacated his office and Liviu Mihaiu was replaced soon after. Bogdan Olteanu (PNL) was Speaker of the Lower Chamber in 2008, at a time when Vintu was still owner of Realitatea TV. The stake was allegedly the purchase of the office of Danube Delta Governor for Liviu Mihaiu, according to Digi24.
If the information is confirmed, this case could shake the political class to its core and could have catastrophic effects in this year’s parliamentary elections, at least in what concerns ALDE.
Sorin Ovidiu Vintu was jailed on July 22, after he was sentenced to 6 years and 2 months in prison in the Petromservice case, Mediafax shows. Former trade union leader Liviu Luca was also sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Previously, Sorin Ovidiu Vintu was behind bars from 21 June 2012 to 1 May 2013, having been sentenced to one year in prison. And from 25 January to 19 November 2014, after he was convicted for favouring Nicolae Popa. The businessman was released on parole on 19 November 2014. He was jailed again on 22 July 2016.
On 9 February 2016, the Bucharest Court sentenced Vintu to 6 years and 4 months in prison, in the case concerning the defrauding of the National Investment Fund, a case he became famous for, but Vintu challenged the ruling at the Court of Appeals. The appeal is being tried since April 2015, the next court date being set for September 14, when the businessman should be heard.
Sorin Ovidiu Vintu’s name also appears in the case in which former Romanian Boxing Federation (FRB) President Rudel Obreja was sentenced to 3 years in prison in March, suspended and final sentence. Obreja had asked Vintu for EUR 1 M in order to bribe a Supreme Court judge in order for the latter to rule a suspended sentence against Vintu in the case concerning Nicolae Popa.
Tariceanu: “There are NO corruption offences in all of my activity”
On Thursday, Calin Popescu Tariceanu reacted to the press allegations in a Facebook posting.
“1. I won’t comment rumours. 2. Supposing that my name is indeed mentioned in one way or another in the denunciation filed by someone who is arrested, convicted, investigated, suspected or indicted, as the elections approach I expect more people who are arrested, convicted, investigated, suspected or indicted to file denunciations against me in order to obtain the DNA prosecutors’ promise that they will enjoy a more lenient treatment before the Law and will possibly keep the money they stole. After the denunciations reach at least a two-digit number, I will give the following answer to all frame-ups: No matter how much the DNA is hunting me, ALDE will be a parliamentary party after the elections. Basescu, at the apex of his power, made numerous efforts to eliminate me from the helm of the Government and from politics. He failed, for the simple fact that there are NO corruption offences in all of my activity,” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook.