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DIICOT:Former Economy Ministers Videanu and Vosganian face charges of undermining national economy

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The head prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) asked the Prosecutor General to notify the Senate of Romania in connection with the request to start prosecution against Varujan Vosganian, former Minister of Economy and Government member between December 2006 - December 2008, currently a Senator and incumbent Minister of Economy, on charges of collusion and undermining of the national economy during his previous term in office as Minister of Economy.

DIICOT also requested the notification of the President of Romania in connection with the request to initiate prosecution against Adriean Videanu, former Minister of Economy and member of the Government between December 2008 - September 2010, on charges of collusion and undermining the national economy while at the helm of the Ministry of Economy.

The DIICOT says that Vosganian, over Dec. 2006 - Dec. 2008 and Videanu, over Dec. 2008 - Sept. 2010, in their capacity of Economy Ministers approved, signed and backed at the Government six orders and three memoranda aimed at supporting the financial interests of the criminal group set up by Ioan Niculae and they used national gas company SNGN Romgaz, a national unit of a strategic interest in the private interest of Niculae's agricultural group Interagro. The DIICOT explained it is about substantial commercial discounts on the natural gas delivery to Interagro above the caps practised by Romgaz as well as of natural gas from the domestic production only, in non-observance of the legal provisions and as Interagro was recording high debts to the payment of the already used gas, thus causing around 130 million dollars in damages.

The prosecutors argue that the moves made by Vosganian and Videanu came as Interagro had a debt accounting for around 70 percent of the national company's annual budget, thus seriously hitting Romgaz main activities, 'with the national gas company being actually turned into the supplier of a privileged private client, therefore jeopardizing the national energy system on its natural gas component'.

Vosganian's and Videanu's moves and orders in favour of Interagro resulted in allotting resources, to a private interest, from the public budget that had been made available to a national company - Romgaz - operating in a strategic economic sector, although the reason of the law is that such resources should serve covering the risk for the economy and the people and protect them against a possible energy crisis, an activity likely to undermine the national economy by the constant danger situation in which the National Energy System was put, the prosecutors explained.

The DIICOT report says Romgaz thus delivered Interagro natural gas from its own production worth some 1.5 billion lei or 500 million dollars, with 270 million lei or 92 million dollars of it representing illegally-granted commercial discounts.

 

Prosecutor General instructs necessary procedures to request prosecution of Vosganian and Videanu

 

The head of the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice asked the Senate and the Presidency to take the necessary steps to request the start of prosecution against incumbent and former Ministers of Economy Varujan Vosganian and Adriean Videanu, respectively, the Prosecution Office informed.

The head prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) asked the Prosecutor General to notify the Senate of Romania in connection with the request to start prosecution against Varujan Vosganian, former Minister of Economy and Government member between December 2006 - December 2008, currently a Senator and incumbent Minister of Economy, on charges of collusion and undermining of the national economy during his previous term in office as Minister of Economy.

DIICOT also requested the notification of the President of Romania in connection with the request to initiate prosecution against Adriean Videanu, former Minister of Economy and member of the Government between December 2008 - September 2010, on charges of collusion and undermining the national economy while at the helm of the Ministry of Economy.

 

Minister Vosganian says to continue activity at ministry as long as law allows him

 

Economy Minister Varujan Vosgnian said on Monday he will not step down from the position after having been accused of undermining the national economy.

'I was asked whether I shall tender resignation. Resignation is not a form of fight. I will continue my activity at the ministry as long as the law allows me', Vosganian told a news conference.

The Liberal (PNL) vice president dismissed the accusation of undermining the national economy levelled by the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism earlier in the day in relation to his having facilitated the delivery of natural gas by national company Romgaz to agricultural group SC Interagro, as he argued that the natural gas state-owned company recorded 8 percent rise in profit in 2008 from 2007.

'This is no crime and no undermining of the national economy. The calculations show that, if I had failed to increase those facilities by a few percentage points, there would have been the risk that those companies stopped either utterly or partially. (...) The damages to the national economy would have been much higher. (...) In other words, this is a gesture meant to extend a political confusion, to keep on the attacks on the PNL, because the effect of accusing Mr (Adriean) Videanu and accusing me is utterly disproportionate', the minister stressed.

 

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