New disclosures came up in the case of Bogdan Olteanu, former deputy governor of the Romania central bank. Digi24 revealed that prosecutors have tappings with Olteanu while talking with one of Sorin Ovidiu Vintu’s right-hand men.
The discussion was about the appointment of journalist Liviu Mihaiu as governor of the Danube Delta. According to the above-mentioned source, Bogdan Olteanu told Ion Ifteni, one of businessman Vintu’s right-hand men, that the deed he is charged of, occurred in 2008, would have been written off by now because it’s no crime.
The file contains detailed statements on how one million euro would have got to the National Liberal Party’s HQs, also referring to a bribe of EUR 2 M and not EUR 1 M that would have left from Vintu’s accounts. Anti-corruption prosecutors are now searching the receiver of the second million of euros.
Investigators tapped Bogdan Olteanu while talking to Ion Ifteni in February this year. They talked about the moment of Liviu Mihaiu’s appointment as governor of the Danube Delta, as there was on ongoing investigation started at the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA).
“He says that one million was for appointing Liviu Mihaiu and one million for I don’t know what they were doing back then (…) And he called on me to ask you and I asked you if everything is OK. You said it was OK,” Ifteni said.
Bogdan Olteanu replied: “He had no problem with the money, with me, we had other promises. He promised me that he helps me out with his polling company, that he orders some opinion polls for me, tells me some data. That was it.”
They also talked about the charges prescription. “It’s eight years since then. All law-breaking cases with punishment up to 10 years are written off in eight years (…) Nobody conked anybody so that sentences should be high…”, Olteanu says.
Ionut Eftimie, the man that prosecutors say was designated by Sorin Ovidiu Vintu to give Olteanu the money, told investigators: “In both cases, the money was given at the National Liberal Party’s head office on Aviatorilor blvd. I met Bogdan Olteanu in the same room every time. If I’m not wrong, the room is at the ground floor, it’s right on a hall and you enter the first or second door on the left.”
The prosecutors have the proof that money has been withdrawn from an ATM in Bulgaria.
“Bogdan Olteanu used to wait me in that room, I left the money and got out, without any other talk (…) Each time, the money was put in a yellow-black sport bag (…), Eftimie also said.
Former governor of the Danube Delta, journalist Liviu Mihaiu claims he heard about the bribe after he had left this position.
“At some point, Vintu asked me if I wanted to be governor of the Danube Delta, and I agreed. Vintu told be he was going to arrange that, but I didn’t believe him all that time (…) Soon after I ended my term as governor I found out that Vintu would have given money for my appointment,” Mihaiu told prosecutors.
Bogdan Olteanu claims he is innocent. Currently under house arrest, the former central bank deputy governor was indicted for influence peddling in this case on Tuesday.