Ex-Economy minister Codrut Seres, to be released from prison

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Former Economy minister Codrut Seres, sentenced to four years in prison in the “Hidroelectrica” file and to four years and eight months in the strategic privatizations’ case, will be released from jail, the Ilfov Tribunal has ruled on Monday. The ruling is final.

The first court has also ruled for Seres’ release on parole, but the prosecutors have challenged the decision and now Ilfov Tribunal has overruled their appeal, so the former minister is to be released.

In February 2016 the High Court of Cassation and Justice gave a final ruling in the case of former Economy minister Codruț Seres and his involvement in Hidroelectrica case and the former minister was sentenced to four years in prison. Seres was already in jail at that time, serving a sentence of 4 years and 8 months in prison with execution given in 2015 in what was called the strategic privatizations’ file.

Seres was prosecuted by Organized Crime and Terrorism prosecutors in September 2011, for hiding the illegal actions of Hidroelectrica state-owned company’s leadership that caused damages of about USD 165 M. In the indictment file, prosecutors had charged Seres also with plot and undermining the national economy. Six former Hidroelectica managers have also been sentenced to jail in this file.

The panel of five judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice actually reduced the penalty initially received by the former Economy Minister Codrut Seres, from six years to four years and eight months in prison with execution for treason by secrets’ disclosure.

In early 2006, Codrut Seres resigned from the position of minister, after he had been taped by the Romanian Intelligence Service in 2005 as masterminding some backstage arrangements on the privatization of some energy companies, including by promoting the Government resolution on the sale of 8% of Petrom shares.

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