The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) has ruled on Thursday, in first court, to acquit former Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, and former Transport Minister, Dan Sova in the Turceni-Rovinari file. The ruling is not final and can be challenged by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
In the same file were also acquitted Laurentiu Ciurel, Director General with the Rovinari Energy Complex at the time of the deeds and Laurentiu Graure, Director of Economy Department with the Turceni Energy Complex, both charged with abuse of office.
Dumitru Cristea, at the time of the deeds, Director General with the Turceni Energy Complex, was sentenced to 4 years in prison, serving sentence.
The judges decided to acquit Victor Ponta of the charges of forgery, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering. Former minister Dan Sova was acquitted for complicity to abuse of office, forgery, tax evasion and money laundering.
The ruling is not final.
DNA charges that Ponta and Sova, as lawyers, allegedly received money for legal counselling granted to the two state companies, although the companies had their own legal advisers.
Dan Sova is charged with three crimes of abetment in abuse of office with obtaining undue benefits for another person, forgery under private signature, tax evasion in continued form and money laundering.
Victor Ponta is charged with forgery under private signature (27 deeds), abetment in tax evasion in continued form, money laundering, committed as lawyer representing his private legal practice.
More precisely, Victor Ponta is accused of cashing in money from Sova’s private law firm without providing any service.
Investigators claim that the money, amounting to RON 200,000, are actually a commission in exchange of Ponta’s support to Sova to obtain contracts with the two energy companies, Rovinari and Turceni.
The file was sent to court in 2015.
Ponta slams anti-corruption prosecutors, praises judges ‘who resist all pressures’
In a Facebook post right after the court’s ruling on Thursday, former PM Victor Ponta has slamed DNA prosecutors for this case against him, and praised the judges ‘who resist all pressures’.
“I am glad that justice can be served in Romania/ I am sorry that such abuses and setups had occurred and still take place in our country/ and I am glad there are judges who resist all pressures and do their jobs to enforce the law!
I thank to my lawyer Florin Surghie and to all people who have believed in my innocence all the time/ I don’t have any hard feeling against those who had enjoyed my suffering all these past three years although they knew I was innocent.
I apologize to my mother, to Daciana (his wife) and to the others in my family who had suffered the most due to my political activity.
Apart from these three years of humiliation, from losing the PSD chairman and Prime Minister positions- I would like everyone to think if it is normal to live in a country where Kovesi and her prosecutors are committing abuses, falsifying evidence and breaking the law and call you ‘a criminal’ for their petty interests/ and if it is normal they are never held accountable for these crimes.
I learnt a lot from this painful period- I will remember this lesson all through my future activity”, reads Ponta’s post.