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Final sentences for a network selling timber to Schweighofer from illegally returned forests

Pitesti Court of Appeal has given final sentences in a part of the file on the illegal restitution of forest in the Puru, Galbenu and Petrimanu mountains in Valcea County and decided to convict four members of the network which sold timber to the Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer from illegally returned forests, cotidianul.ro reports.

Total sentences are of 23 years and 6 months imprisonment plus EUR 4 million and interest payment by Mircea Basarabă , former mandatory of the company Holzindustrie Schweighofer, George Deaconeasa – former contractual partner of the firm, Mihai Dan Petrulian and Constantin Păduraru.

According to Court sentence 662 of June 3, 2016, defendant Mircea Basarabă will serve main sentence of 6 years in prison plus a bonus of 1 year, in total sentence of 7 years imprisonment.

Gheorghe Deaconeasa, former chief of the Forest District Voineasa, will execute the hardest penalty of 5 years and 6 months imprisonment, to which it is added an extra 2 years sentence, in total the sentence peaks to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment.

Mihai-Dan Petrulian was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Constantin Păduraru was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

The Pitesti Court of Appeal increased the amount of civil damages to be paid jointly by the four defendants the sum of RON 8,460,256 plus accessories from the date of the deeds until the date of full payment to RON 17,668,111.58 plus the interest calculated from the date of the present decision until the date of full payment of the damage.

According Agent Green, the ultimate beneficiary of these deeds was Cascade Empire, a company which bought the returned mountains on false documents. However, the DNA files – Territorial Service of Pitesti, reads there is evidence demonstrating that the representatives of Gerald Schweighofer’s company had regular contacts with the defendants, setting the selling price of forest land 6 months before the restitution.

In a contract dated November 30, 2004 Holzindustrie Schweighofer bought 22,000 cubic meters of timber from Voineasa, Valcea County from Soficarm SRL Călimăneşti company where George Deaconeasa was associate and administrator.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer is the largest processor of wood in Romania and in recent years has been at the core of several scandals involving illegal procurement of timber. Each time, the company officials have dismissed the allegations.

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