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What the newspapers say: September 26, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 26 septembrie 2007, 0:00


The war pitching Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) against a large array of enemies including Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu moves to the media as Wednesday newspapers debate a never-ending series of political controversies that affect the Romanian judicial system.

One newspaper publishes an investigative report on Labor minister Paul Pacuraru, revealing what may be as a best practice scenario of shady dealings involving a member of the government. And another heralds US pressure on Romania to change its stance on the future status of Kosovo.

Romanian Labor minister Paul Pacuraru learned early this week that he may be the subject of a graft case pushed by DNA anti-corruption prosecutors. DNA officials failed to provide details about their suspicions related to Pacuraru, allowing him to dismiss any charges of malpractice.

But Cotidianul publishes an investigative report on Wednesday saying that the minister has become a DNA target after he allegedly intervened at local level to direct public contracts to a company run by his son, Mihnea Pacuraru.

According to sources quoted by the newspaper, Paul Pacuraru allegedly took advantage of political services requested to him by a local mogul that has been under surveillance for alleged abuses since early this year.

Cotidianul says that suspicions arose about Liberal minister Pacuraru after phone talks between him and the leader of the Liberal Party branch in the county of Gorj, Ilie Morega, were recorded by the Romanian Intelligence Service. DNA prosecutors are believed to build their case on Pacuraru based on these recordings.

Pacuraru continued to deny the speculation on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei focuses on Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu, who's been involved in a long series of scandals since his naming in office in spring this year.

This time around, the paper attacks Chiuariu's attempt to have a say in the nomination of prosecutors to various positions within the judicial system, a task that now belongs to his political rival, President Traian Basescu.

That comes as Chiuariu is involved in a major confrontation with the DNA, where a case is instrumented on his name.

Romania libera is more interested in a huge case instrumented by the same Anti-corruption Department on corruption in the world of Romanian football.

No less than 18 1st League football teams, heads of the Romanian Football Federation and even referees have had their phones tapped based on a judicial warrant during the last season of the national championship, the paper reports.

It writes that there is proof some football players and referees took bribes to "sell" games. High-profile club owners including Steaua Bucharest's Gigi Becali and Rapid Bucharest's George Copos have already faced DNA investigators.

For its part, Gandul reports that DNA prosecutors have "a good chance to enter the Guinness Book" after they were found to use simple phone calls to inform suspects about cases opened on their names. Such a practice is unmatched anywhere in the world, according to the paper.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei focuses on Romania's stance on the future status of Kosovo and quotes the International Herald Tribune in reporting that Romania and Slovakia would most probably be subjected to US pressure for their opposition to the independence of the Serbian province.

While the IHT mentions ethnic minority issues in the two European countries, Evenimentul Zilei quotes Romanian Foreign minister Adrian Cioroianu who dismissed last week that Romania's opposition had anything to do with ethnic Hungarians living in the Romanian province of Transylvania.




















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