Final ruling in the strategic privatizations file expected on Monday
The Supreme Court is expected to give a final ruling in the strategic privatizations file in which former ministers Codrut Seres and Szolt Nagy have been sentenced to six and five years of prison. The last hearing of the case was on December 19 when the panel of judges of the Supreme Court heard the final pleadings and the defendant’s last word, announcing they will give the final ruling on January 5.
The lawyers of the defendants mainly asked for their clients’ discharge or at least for more lenient sanctions. They also claimed the documents that DIICOT say they were state secrets would have in fact been normal papers, which did not call for this kind of accusations.
The former Economy minister, Codrut Seres told the judges “there is no harm, no prejudice and not a single one secret document” in this file. “All you have is overrated accusations of the Public Ministry, released on sources,” Seres said in the final pleading. He also pointed out the prosecutors had no practical evidence proving that he actually met Bulgarian Stamen Stanchev or that he gave the foreign consultant any kind of documents.
In his turn, ex – minister of Communications, Szolt Nagy complained that his life has gone trough some changes during the eight-year period of the trial. He claimed he had never adhered to or supported any criminal group and that he had never used classified documents. Nagy also said the charges against him were set based on talks among third party persons.
Seres has been sentenced to six years in prison for treason by unveiling secrets, while Nagy got five years in prison for adherence to a criminal group.
International consultant Vadim Benyatov was sentenced to ten years in prison for spying and Stamen Stanchev got the highest sentence in this file, 11 years in prison for spying, as well as four years and ten months in prison for initiating and supporting an organized criminal group. The court also sentenced Czech citizen Michal Susak to four years and ten months in prison for initiating a transnational criminal group and to ten years in jail for spying.
The strategic privatization file began in 2007 against Benyatov, Stanchev and other two former top officials within Communication Ministry and the Office for the Privatizations in Industry. Subsequently, in 2009 prosecutors of the Department for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism also prosecuted Seres, Nagy, Susak and other two in the same file targeting more privatizations of several strategic Romanian state institutions, such as Electrica Muntenia Sud, Petrom, Romaero, Posta Romana, etc.