Former PSD Deputy, Viorel Hrebenciuc, was sentenced on Wednesday, by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) to 2 years imprisonment, serving sentence, in the file of illegal forest retrocession, being charged of setting up an organised criminal group, influence peddling and money laundering.
In the same file, former Deputy Ioan Adam, charged with abuse of office, setting up an organised criminal group, influence buying, was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, serving sentence.
The rulings are not final.
Andrei Hrebenciuc, Viorel Hrebenciuc’s son, was sentenced to two years in prison for complicity to influence peddling.
Gheorghe Paltin Sturdza, the beneficiary of more than 43,000 hectares of forest in Bacău County, was sentenced to 3 years in prison, serving sentence, while former Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu was acquitted for the offenses of establishing an organized criminal group, influence peddling and money laundering.
At the end of the trial, on February 21, a DNA prosecutor asked the magistrates to convict all defendants in this file to serving sentences, at the maximum provided by the criminal law.
Thus, the prosecutor demanded a maximum punishment with execution for former deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc, accused of establishing an organized criminal group, influence peddling and money laundering. The maximum punishment for setting up an organized crime group is 10 years, and for money laundering is 12 years.
The retrocession file was sent to court in January 2015, had more than 60 trial terms. In October 2015, Viorel and Andrei Hrebenciuc, and former deputy Ioan Adam, acknowledged their guilt, requesting that they be tried through the simplified procedure.
In this file, Gheorghe Paltin Sturdza, the beneficiary of over 43,000 hectares of forest in Bacau County, Judge Lorand Andras Ordog from Covasna Court, Romsilva Chief, Adam Craciunescu, Judge Anca Roxana Adam from Brasov Court, wife of Ioan Adam, Dan Costin Bengescu, Iosif Kadas, Sorin Ion Iacob, Janica Poenaru, Ioan George Varga, Daniel Constantin Calugar, Ioan Matasel, Rodica Gabriela Zaharia and Iulian Durlan were sent on trial.
According to the investigators, Viorel Hrebenciuc, Ioan Adam, Paltin Gheorghe Sturdza and Dan Costin Bengescu were charged with setting up a criminal group that sought to obtain incomes through influence peddling or by using their positions. The file concerns the retrocession of over 43,000 hectares of forest in Bacau County, based on some magistrates’ various illegal decisions, with the involvement of several MPs, in order to illegally obtain large amounts of money. The criminal group allegedly used including offshore companies for covering the origins of the money. Damaged in this case is Romsilva, which lost almost EUR 304 million after Sturdza was able to take possession of over 43,000 hectares of forest.