- UPDATE PM Victor Ponta announced following the court verdict on Friday that minister Fenechiu informed him about his wish to withdraw as a member of the government. Ponta said he would take over as interim minister until a new one is named.
The case is related to the procurements by a state energy services enterprise, SISEE Moldova, of old, used machines at the price of new products from several companies which at the time were controlled by Relu Fenechiu and his brother Lucian. The procurements occurred in 2002-2004. In the same case, several other persons, including Ioan Turbatu, who managed SISEE Moldova at the time, were charged by the National Anti-corruption Department. The court proceedings against Fenechiu started in June 2012.
On July 4th this year, anti-corruption prosecutors pleaded for a prison sentence for Relu Fenechiu. The High Court of Justice pronounced the 5 year sentenced on Friday, but the verdict can be appealed.
Relu Fenechiu has stated he would resign from the Government should he be sentenced in the case. He had also said that the case has been lasting for too long and had been affecting his political career, as he had been in the books for governmental seats in previous governments, but missed nominations because of the judicial procedures.
Relu Fenechiu is a prominent member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), which along the Social Democrats (PSD) form the governing coalition in Romania.