Ex-PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, defendant in Tel Drum file

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Former leader of the Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, serving a sentence of 3 years and a half in prison in the Teleorman fictitious hiring file, has been brought to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) this morning, to be officially informed he is not a suspect anymore in the Tel Drum file, but a defendant.

Romanian prosecutors announced the start of the criminal prosecution against Dragnea in the Tel Drum file since November 2017, but as a suspect. Romanian prosecutors are investigating charges of EU funds embezzlement in the Tel Drum file, following a complaint filed by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

However, Dragnea reported in court the denial by the European Commission to probe into the investigation carried out by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in the Tel Drum file. Dragnea sued the European Commission in the attempt to obtain the annulment of the OLAF report, which determined there was EU funds embezzlement in the Tel Drum file.

The former PSD leader has been brought from Rahova Penitentiary to DNA this morning to be indicted and has been kept in the police van for 45 minutes, as the car arrived too early.

The hearing at the DNA comes one day after Liviu Dragnea had granted his first interview from jail to his former adviser Anca Alexandrescu, currently journalist at Realitatea TV. In the interview, the ex-SocDem leader has reiterated that he is innocent and that it is a conspiracy against him to be used in the upcoming electoral campaign.

“I am summoned at DNA in the Tel Drum file tomorrow (editor note: Friday), which is set in motion again, all of a sudden, after 3 years, shortly before the electoral campaign (…) I really don’t know what are the charges against me in this file, to be honest (…) Practically, I am being charged that, during my mandate (e.n: as Teleorman county council leader) two major roads had been built for that county (…),” Dragnea told his former adviser.

“The strategy is clear, of course I will be used, I even told Irina (e.n: Irina Tanase, his lover) that sometime in the summer they will come up with something against me, potentially in the Tel Drum file”, he added.

Established 20 years ago as the construction company of the Teleorman County Council, Tel Drum was privatized in early 2000s, when Liviu Dragnea was leading the County Council.

Investigators say that Dragnea would have never stopped controlling Tel Drum, through middlemen. Tel Drum has lured tens of millions of euro, money from the state budget or from EU funds and has won most of the public tenders it has participated in.

Even after Dragnea’s imprisonment and after the company had been placed in insolvency over the charge of EU funds embezzlement, Tel Drum kept on being granted contracts with the state.

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