Ex-PSD deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc placed under house arrest

Former Social Democrat lawmaker Viorel Hrebenciuc, also known as the PSD strategist for many years, escapes preventive arrest and is going to be placed under house arrest in the illegal forest retrocessions file in which he has been serving a pre-trial jail sentences since October 29 last year.

The Supreme Court’s Friday ruling is final and came after it rejected the anti-corruption prosecutors’ appeal regarding replacing preventive arrest with house arrest in his case.

Viorel Hrebenciuc, his son, Andrei Hrebenciuc, former PM Ioan Adam, senator Tudor Chiuariu and other 13 persons have been brought to trial.

Viorel Hrebenciuc, his son, Andrei Hrebenciuc and his party colleague Ioan Adam partially admitted the charges in the forest retrocessions file.

The file relates to the illegal retrocession of over 43,000 hectares of forest in Bacau County. Prosecutors say a criminal group involving politicians, judges was initiated in 2013 by Viorel Hrebenciuc, Ioan Adam, Paltin Sturdza, who eyed to earn money through influence peddling and by using their top positions.

The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) claims that the defendants used code names to talk in dealing with this business. When they talk about Viorel Hrebenciuc they used the “Hospital” code name, they called the files “pies”, the courts were named “clinics”, while the judicial arrangements were called “hospital admissions”.

The defendants would have used offshore companies to hide the money’s origin. Romanian national forest company Romsilva was injured in this case, losing EUR 304 M after Paltin Sturdza managed to acquire the 43,000 hectares of forest.

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