Ponta and Antonescu’s names revealed by tapping in PM’s brother-in-law file
The names of former Liberal chairman Crin Antonescu and of PM Victor Ponta peep in the file of the premier’s brother-in-law, Iulian Hertanu. Tapping in this case hint that the two former leaders of the Social Liberal Union (USL) would have been informed and would have talked about the public procurement in Prahova County.
Anti-corruption prosecutors in Ploiesti on Wednesday placed Adrian Semcu under remand. He is manager of Hidro Prahova company and former vice-president of Prahova County Council during 2008-2012. He is charged with influence peddling in the file in which PM Ponta’S brother-in-law, Iulian Hertanu, deputies Sebastian Ghita, Vlad Cosma and leader of Prahova County Council Mircea Cosma are defendants.
In the same file, businessman Gheorghe Boeru, representantive of Romair Consulting Ltd was also taken into custody. Romair Consulting used to do business with Hidro Prahova, company owned by Prahova County Council. Boeru is charged with bribery and tax evasion.
Prosecutor unveiled that Gheorghe Boeru was the Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s special envoy, who would also have been friend with Adrian Semcu. Boeru would have won the project for the county’s sewerage system funded with EU money with the help of Adrian Semcu.
According to the prosecutors’ tapping, in a phone conversation with Nicoleta Buzoianu on January 21, 2011, Adrian Semcu talks about Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta, hinting that Antonescu was familiar with all ins and outs of Sebastian Ghita, and that the latter would have talked to Ponta about that particular contract.
“Adrian Semcu: I talked to comrade Crin (….) I called him, he did not answer in the first instance but then he called me back… He was very free and easy… He knows all the ins and outs of Ghita, but he talked to Ponta. And he told him: Well, it’s your problem, I am not giving way at Prahova, one contract is ours. It doesn’t matter which of them (subsequently a contract have been signed by the partnership between the company of PM’ s brother-in-law, Grossman Engineering and Euro Construct Trading 98)… And he also told me: Adi, to be honest and fair, I think the county would be more important, for there is the organization in Ploiest, it’s Catalina, still we have a certain fief there…I wouldn’t bother about that… While in the county….It’s exactly how I thought.”
In retort, Crin Antonescu said the discussions in the tapping were misinterpreted, admitting he talked to PM Ponta about the Prahova situation , but that there were political talk about appointing the candidates from the Social Liberal Union for the local elections.
“I talked to Victor Ponta and I told him: in Prahova I take the one or another, meaning PNL will run either for the County council or for the City Hall,” Antonescu told Digi24.
Asked by the journalists if he has even been summoned to the National Anti-corruptionj Directorate, Antonescu denied.