A former Romanian prime minister during 2004-2008 is being accused of corruption.
The National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) has asked the General Prosecutor's Office on Monday to notify President Klaus Iohannis for approving criminal investigations against former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Prosecutors accuse the latter of bribe taking between 2007 and 2008, during the last part of his mandate as head of government. Tariceanu allegedly received illegal material benefits worth 800,000 US dollars from representatives of an Austrian company that distributed Microsoft licenses in Romania, under the form of consultancy services. In exchange,
Tariceanu allegedly influenced the adoption of a number of government decisions in favor of the company, prosecutors have explained, saying that the amount represents a commission from the value of payments made by the Romanian state to the company. The amount was allegedly used by the former PM to cover some expenses with the election campaign, and was transferred based on fictious contracts signed with several offshore companies. The case concerning Tariceanu gathers three other cases, one of which was taken over by the DNA at the request of the Austrian judicial authorities, according to a journalist of the public radio.
In November 2018, at the request of the DNA, Romania s Senate was asked to approve the prosecution of Tariceanu, a senator at the time, for bribe taking, but the request was denied. Prosecutors say that fresh evidence has been found in relation to the case. Tariceanu denied the accusations at the time, arguing that no payments were made to Microsoft while he was a PM and that he did not receive any money. He also said on a TV show that four government decisions were taken during his mandate, one investigated by the then general prosecutor, who only made an inventory of the Microsoft licenses.
This new case has emerged on the public scene shortly after the former environment minister, Costel Alexe, was accused by anti-corruption prosecutors of bribe-taking and instigating the crime of embezzlement. Anticorruption prosecutors claim that there is evidence that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that, between March and April 2020, he allegedly directly claimed and received from the director of a steel plant, products made of sheet metal worth about 20 thousand euros, in connection with the performance of his duties; they concern the free allocation of greenhouse gas emission allowances to the plant and the monitoring of the measures taken by it to close a non-compliant landfill. Alexe said that he trusted the act of justice and that he wanted to see the action finalised as soon as possible. (Translated by Elena Enache)