Former Energy Minister Constantin Nita was sentenced on Friday, by the judges of the Supreme Court, to four years in prison for influence peddling in the case in which he is accused of receiving EUR 30,000 and more of RON 300,000 from Tiberiu Urdareanu, to intervene to the Iasi Mayor in order to assign to the UTI company an agreement on the city traffic management. Former Minister says that he considers himself “totally wronged”, and he will do everything he can to prove his innocence.
The Supreme Court also decided to seize RON 300,000 from the former Minister Constantin Nita and to maintain the seizure for his assets. Supreme Court’s decision is not final. Constantin Nita’s trial began in September 2016, at the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and it was finalized after ten hearings, on May 9.
Nita, after the High Court’s decision: I consider myself totally wronged and I will do everything I can to prove my innocence
Constantin Nita said at the last hearing, in his last speech in front of the court, that he received no money from the businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu in order to help his company to obtain an agreement with the Iasi Municipality, that he is disappointed by the prosecutor’s request to be sentenced to prison and that he is confident that there will be “a fair trial”.
“I am extremely disappointed by the Prosecutor’s request. I regret that I am in such a situation. I never pretended any amount of money from Mr. Urdareanu, I never promised him anything. I never participated to any conclusion of any agreement, I only introduced Mr. Urdareanu to Mr. Mihai Ghirda (former leader of PSD Brasov – e.n.). I saw in the indictment what they did further. I received no money from that company. You can see the circuit of the money, they haven’t reached to Nita or to the party. I am a responsible person who have met businessmen and led teams. I am deeply affected by the prosecutor’s request. I am confident in a fair trial and I don’t believe I can be sentenced for deeds that i haven’t committed” Nita stated at the last hearing.
The Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate who attended the last hearing asked the court to sentence the former Minister Constantin Nita of a punishment with execution for influence peddling, as well as to seize RON 300,000 and EUR 30,000 from him, representing money that he allegedly received from businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu to help his company to obtain an agreement with Iasi Municipality. The DNA magistrate also requested the court to maintain the seizure on Nita’s assets and the bail of RON 150,000.
Constantin Nita was sent to judgement by the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate in June 2016. According to the prosecutor’s indictment, in 2013, Constantin Nita, who was the Energy Minister at the date of the deeds, asked Tiberiu Urdareanu, the denouncer in the case, a fee of 5% from the value of the agreement concluded by his company with the Iasi Municipality.
The investigators claim that Nita requested the amount of 5% of the contract value after the initiation of the procedure for that project and after the Mayor of the municipality asked for a bribe of 10% of the contract value in the first part of 2013.
“According to the agreement, the sum representing 5% of the value of the contract (approximately RON 3.4 million) was to be remitted to Nita Constantin in two forms: partly in cash and partly through a fictitious consultancy contract to be concluded with a trusted person from the defendant’s entourage”, prosecutors wrote in the indictment.
On July 21, 2013, Constantin Nita allegedly received EUR 30,000 from Urdareanu while he was in a Lebanese restaurant in a Bucharest hotel. “Also, at Nita Constantin’s request, a person trusted by him was contacted to propose the conclusion of a consultancy contract with a certain company at the price of EUR 5,000 + VAT/month; the contract was signed May 2, 2013. Based on this fictitious contract (the invoiced services weren’t actually provided by the company), the representatives of the businessman gave to the company indicated by Nita Constantin, through this mechanism, the total amount of RON 303,118, in monthly installments, during the period of May 2013-June 2014”, prosecutors said.
The investigators established a seizure for Constantin Nita’s real estate properties up to the amount of RON 435,823.