Arrest warrants in absentia for Israeli millionaires Benny Steinmetz, Tal Silberstein and Shimon Shevez. Decision not final


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The Brasov Court of Appeal has approved on Tuesday arrest warrants in absentia for Israeli businessmen Tal Silberstein, Shimon Shevez and Benny Steinmetz, defendants in the file of illegal land restitution, 47 hectares of forest in Snagov forest and Baneasa Farm, a file in which businessman Remus Truica and Paul Philippe, so-called Paul of Romania or Prince Paul are investigated. The decision is not final and can be appealed. When the decision is final, the three will be given in international warrant, informs.

Steinmetz is the richest one, ranking 188th in the top richest people in the world, with a fortune estimated at USD 7.2 billion, investor in the Rosia Montana mining project. Shevez is the former director of cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Tal Silberstein was political advisor to Prime Ministers Adrian Nastase and Calin Popescu Tariceanu and to President Traian Basescu, a friend of Dan Andronic, also indicted in the file.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) requested last week the arrest in absence of Israeli billionaire Benjamin ‘Benny’ Steinmetz and political consultants and businessmen Tal Silberstein and Shimon Shevez (the latter being the chief of staff to former Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin) and of Moshe Agavi, in the file regarding the illegal restitution of Baneasa farm in Ilfov County.

“Since November 2006, the defendant Remus Truică together with defendants Tal Silberstein, Shimon Shevez, Benjamin ‘Benny’ Steinmetz, Moshe Agavi (who joined later) and others, established a criminal group that aimed to acquire the whole property illegally claimed by the accused Paul Philippe of Romania (aka the so-called Prince Paul), by providing money/goods to the persons within authorities/institutions holding these properties, by inciting and abetting to commit, by these people, the crime of abuse of office, by providing and signing necessary documents and by real influence peddling on public servants,” prosecutors have announced through a press release.

DNA states that Paul Philippe of Romania allegedly had promised businessman Remus Truică and the other persons concerned by the investigation between 50% and 80% of the goods value he had claimed in Romania and that “he handed them the goods, in the extent of obtaining them, in exchange for the group members’ intervention upon the civil servants with responsibilities in reconstructing/restitution of ownership in Bucharest and in other counties or upon the judges, aiming to succeed, unjustly, to obtain the goods claimed and taking possession.”

Prosecutors announced that they have taken steps for the four businessmen to be brought in for judicial proceedings, but they evade prosecution, which is why they asked the Braşov Court of Appeal for their preventive arrest in absentia.

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