Romanian senator facing arrest in corruption probe

Newsroom 29/03/2010 | 10:49

Anticorruption prosecutors are poised to arrest senator Catalin Voicu after Romania’s General Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi issued Senate approval on Thursday to place the senator in preventive custody. Voicu suspended himself from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) last week.

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors have charged the MP with exerting undue influence, forgery of signed documents and being party to the offence of intellectual forgery under accounting law, in connection to fake deeds, according to a statement by the directorate.

Voicu stands accused of having received, in his capacity as member of the Senate, EUR 60,000 and EUR 200,000 from a local businessman in order to put pressure on magistrates from the High Court of Cassation and Justice to rule in favor of the company at which the businessman was an associate.

According to media reports, the above mentioned businessman is Costel Casuneanu who was included in the Capital Top 300 wealthiest Romanians and who was a sponsor of President Traian Basescu’s election campaign.

The senator is also charged with having solicited RON 119,000 from another businessman (allegedly Marius Locic) in exchange for exerting influence over police officers within the General Direction Police of the Bucharest Municipality, when Locic was under investigation for criminal deeds.In the same case, Voicu is accused of having asked several individuals with political influence to support him in order to gain influence over the Romanian government.

The Senate approved on Wednesday anticorruption prosecutors’ request to arrest the senator, who was not present at the meeting as he is in hospital. A medical commission from the Bucharest University Hospital, where Voicu is an inpatient, was set to decide on Friday afternoon whether or not he could be discharged.

Simona Bazavan

 

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