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President Iohannis sends Justice Minister request for Calin Popescu-Tariceanu's criminal investigation

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Klaus Iohannis Crăciun

President Klaus Iohannis sent today to Justice Minister Stelian Ion the request for the start of the criminal investigation of former Prime Minister and former Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.

"President Klaus Iohannis sent on Wednesday to Justice Minister the request for the criminal prosecution of Calin Constantin Anton Popescu-Tariceanu, former Prime Minister between December 29, 2004 - December 22, 2008, for the deeds that are the subject to criminal case No. 668/P/2019 of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice - National Anti-corruption Directorate - Section for the combat of crimes classified as corruption crimes, for bribe-taking, a crime provided for by Article 28. (1) of the Criminal Code in connection to Article 6 and Article 7 letter a) of Law No. 78/2000 on the prevention, tracking and sanctioning of corruption deeds, with the enforcement of Article 5 of the Criminal Code. Proceedings shall be initiated as per law requirements, having regard to the request of the Prosecutor General, pursuant to the provisions of Article 109 paragraph (2) of the Constitution of Romania, republished, of Law No. 115/1999 on ministerial accountability, republished, with subsequent amendments and additions, and taking into account the Constitutional Court's ruling No. 270/2008," the Presidential Administration informs.

The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) asked on Monday the General Prosecutor's Office to notify President Klaus Iohannis for the start of the criminal investigation of Calin Popescu-Tariceanu for bribe taking during his term as Prime Minister.

According to DNA, the request takes into account that, at this moment, there are aspects supporting the reasonable suspicion that the person whose criminal investigation is requested would have received, indirectly, between 2007 - 2008, from the representatives of an Austrian company benefits worth 800,000 US dollars as payment for consulting services.

"In exchange, he has allegedly exercised his duties so that a series of government decisions would be adopted in favor of the company. The amount of 800,000 US dollars representing a commission from the value of the payments made by the Romanian government to the company would have been used to the benefit of the dignitary in order to cover expenses of his electoral campaign, being wired on fictitious contracts concluded with several offshore companies," the investigators claim.

DNA said the case was built in 2018 by joining three criminal cases, one of which was taken over at the request of Austrian judicial authorities. Subsequently, criminal probes were carried out into facts and other persons, including a businessman sent to court.

Calin Popescu-Tariceanu rejects all the accusations of the anti-corruption prosecutors, stating that the Romanian government made no payments to the respective company during the time he served as Prime Minister.

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