The anti-corruption prosecutors announced on Wednesday that the former minister of Regional Development and ex-secretary of state in the same ministry, Sevil Shhaideh, has been indicted in the Belina file, under the charge of abuse of office.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate opened the case in May 2017, probing into the circumstances which Belina Island and Pavel channel on the Danube river have been transferred from the “Romanian Waters” National Company to the Teleorman County Council and further on, to Tel Drum private company, controlled by people close to PSD chair Liviu Dragnea.
DNA has also extended investigation against Adrian Gâdea, former chairman of Teleorman County Council, being charged with abetment in abuse of office. The prejudice estimated by investigators mounts to over RON 3 million (almost EUR 650,000).
Ionela Stoian, director of the Regional Development Ministry at that time was also indicted for abetment in abuse of office of the public servant has obtained undue benefits with extremely serious consequence, DNA further says.
According to prosecutors, in 2013, through the repeated action of several people holding public positions, parts of Belina Island and Pavel channel (stretching on an area of 278.78 ha and 45 ha respectively), located on the Danube low river bed, have been illegally transferred in the property of Teleorman county and under the administration of Teleorman County Council and just several days after, they were rented to a private company.
To perform the property transfer, a government resolution has been adopted, yet by breaking the law. As they were located on the Danube minor river bed, Belina Island and Pavel channel were part of the state public domain, so they could not be transferred to any county council by gov’t resolution, nut only by law.
Investigators claim that during September 23, 2013-December 2013, Sevil Shhaideh, as secretary of state, initiated and submitted the above-mentioned government resolution draft (no 943/2013) to the Executive, which eventually approved the transfer.
Sevil Shhaideh had a troubled life in the Government since PSD has come to power again after winning the general elections of 2016. First, she had been rejected by President Iohannis to take over the PM position as proposed by the ruling Social Democrat Party. She has been mainly seen as Dragnea’s old protegee and a keen maven of the public administration, and thus considered the SocDem chairman’s puppet in the Government. Morever, her husband, a Syrian citizen, came into the media’s pipeline for allegedly being close to Syria’s president Bashar al -Assad.
Eventually, Shhaided entered the government as deputy PM in Grindeanu’s Cabinet and she also kept this position in Tudose Gov’t, as well as the one of minister for Regional Development, but she had to resign from both positions in October last year after she had been prosecuted in Belina file and amid repeated pressures of the former premier Mihai Tudose.