Vasile Blaga, acquitted for influence peddling by Bucharest Court

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The Bucharest Court has ruled on Monday to acquit former PDL Secretary General, Vasile Blaga, for the charges of influence peddling.

The court has also decided to waive the seizure on Blaga’s wealth during prosecution.

The ruling is not final, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) may file an appeal.

Anti-corruption prosecutors requested on October 20, during the last hearing, Blaga’s imprisonment. At the same time, the prosecutors wanted him to be stripped of the right to be a party member and to be named in public positions, as well as the seizure of EUR 700,000.

Former Democrat Liberal PM Emil Boc and ex-minister Adriean Videanu were also heard ten days ago.

Vasile Blaga, former chairman of the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) and later co-chairman of National Liberal Party (PNL), was sent to court in November 2016 under the charge of bribe taking of EUR 700,000 from a private company in exchange for exerting his influence to help the company obtain contracts with two national companies.

“During 2011-2012, as secretary general of a party that was at rule, defendant Vasile Blaga received the total amount of EUR 700,000 in four trenches from a private company represented by defendant Horatiu Berdilă, in exchange for exerting his influence through the defendant Gheorghe Stefan (PDL vice-president at that time) on another person who had held leadership positions at two national companies, so that Berdilă’s company should obtain contracts with the two national companies,” reads the prosecutors’ indictment.

The DNA claimed Blaga received EUR 500,000 through the former mayor of Piatra Neamt, Gheorghe Stefan and EUR 200,000 through another person.

The prosecutors also claim that Gheorghe Ștefan and Vasile Blaga used several shadow companies in order to take money from the national companies for the Democrat Liberal Party.

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