The former Interior Minister Gabriel Berca has been sentenced on Thursday, by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) to 2 years in jail, for influence peddling.
In the same file, former deputy Mihai Banu, was sentenced to three years and a half in jail, also for influence peddling, hotnews.ro informs.
Lucian Banu, the son of Mihail Banu, was sentenced to the same detention of 2 years suspended jail sentence for complicity to influence peddling.
The Supreme Court has upheld the Bacau Court of Appeals sentence, i.e. the confiscation of EUR 92,500 both from Gabriel Berca and Mihai Banu and of RON 150,000 from Lucian Banu.
Gabriel Berca, former senator, minister, secretary general of the Government and presidential adviser was sentenced in May 2016 by the Bacau Court of Appeal to three years of detention for the crime of influence peddling in continued form. The two were indicted in August 2015, stayed in custody and at home for nearly five months, a period to be deducted from the sentence.
The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors charges that, during April 2010-January 2012, through the intermediary Mihai Banu, Gabriel Berca has received and claimed for himself, for his political party, from businessman Viorel Rusu (denouncer in the file) the total amount of EUR 185,000 so that, as Senator and PDL Bacau Vice-chairman, to approach the members of the Government and convince them to allot amounts of money for the Ardeoani commune hall, Bacau County. The money was needed to pay the construction works completed by the businessman’s company, of about RON 5.6 million.
According to DNA, during the same interval, Mihai banu claimed and received, in several tranches, from Viorel Rusu, the amount of EUR 220,000, money used for himself and for Gabriel Berca, as well as for their political party.
Upon Mihai Banu and Lucian Banu’s requests, out of the EUR 220,000, the amount of RON 150,000 was paid by the businessman under the pretext of acquiring a plot of land.