Former ministers Dan Ioan Popescu, Sebastian Vladescu and Gheorghe Pogea subjected to criminal prosecution

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Former 2003-2004 Economy and Trade Minister Dan Ioan Popescu, former Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu and former Public Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea on Wednesday went to the main offices of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), where prosecutors informed them on being subjected to criminal prosecution in the Rompetrol II case.

“I have been summoned to be informed,” Vladescu told journalists upon entering the DIICOT offices.

Dan Ioan Popescu pointed out that there has never been collusion with Dinu Patriciu to promote Government Emergency Ordinance 118/2003, under which the overdue public debts of SC Rompetrol Rafinare SA as of September 30, 2003, of about 603,000,000 USD, were converted into bonds underwritten by the Public Finance Ministry.

“I have been summoned to the DIICOT as suspect,” Pogea said before reporting to the prosecutors.

Also, former minister Mihai Tanasescu was heard by the prosecution last Friday in this case. The DIICOT alleges that then finance minister Tanasescu and then minister of economy and trade Popescu acted in bad faith in 2003 to promote an emergency ordinance of the government to convert into shares subscribed by the Ministry of Public Finance debts of 603 million dollars of the Rompetrol company. The act was eventually adopted by the government under a procedure that breached the relevant laws.

At end-May this year, President Klaus Iohannis sent to the justice minister requests for the criminal prosecution of four former ministers – Mihai Tanasescu, Dan Ioan Popescu, Sebastian Vladescu and Gheorghe Pogea – in the Rompetrol II case.

According to the Presidential Administration, the head of state sent to the justice minister requests for the criminal prosecution of Nicolae Mihai Tanasescu, former public finance minister in 2000 – 2004; Dan Ioan Popescu, former economy and trade minister in 2003 – 2004; Teodor Gheorge Sebastian Vladescu, former public finance minister in 2005 – 2007 and 2009 – 2010, and Gheorghe Pogea, former public finance minister in 2008 – 2009.

At the same time the Prosecution Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice was notified on these requests.

On May 24, the DIICOT prosecutors sent to the General Prosecution Office a request for notifying President Klaus Iohannis to file a prosecution request on the four former ministers.

According to the DIICOT, the former dignitaries are charged with establishing an organised crime ring, abuse of office and complicity to embezzlement.

The DIICOT maintained that in the September – October 2003, Finance Minister Mihai Tanasescu and Economy and Trade Minister Dan Ioan Popescu “exercised their office duties in ill-faith, in collusion with Dan Costache Patriciu, George Philip Stephenson and Alexandru Nicolcioiu, for the initiation and promotion of Government Emergency Ordinance 118/2003, under which overdue public debts of SC Rompetrol Rafinare SA as of September 30, 2003, of about 603,000,000 USD, were converted into bonds underwritten by the Public Finance Ministry.