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Anti-Graft prosecutors launch criminal inquiry against former PM Adrian Nastase

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 24 iunie 2008, 17:47 English | Top News

The prosecutors in the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) opened a criminal inquiry against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, who is accused of money laundering in the "Quality Trophy" file, referring to the way the 2004 electoral campaign was financed, juridical sources declared for NewsIn on Tuesday.

The file refers to acts allegedly committed by Nastase as head of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), not as Prime Minister, therefore the approval of the Parliament is not required.

Also on Tuesday, the House of Deputies failed to gather the necessary amount of votes to approve or deny the request of DNA prosecutors to open a criminal inquiry against Nastase and one of his former minister, for deeds during his PM mandate.

The DNA prosecutors accuse Nastase of money laundering in the so-called "Quality Trophy" affair, where Nastase is suspect of illegally benefiting from funds for his electoral campaign. The former PM claims that his new file was put up after the orders of Romania president Traian Basescu.

In the "Quality Trophy" file:
- Adrian Nastase is accused of benefiting from 10 billion RON funds (some 300,000 euro) from fictitious commercial operations, used for his 2004 electoral campaign;
- The file involves Irina Jianu, former head of the State Constructions Authority, also accused in another Nastase file for bribe offering and participation in obtaining illicit benefits;
- Irina Jianu organized in 2004 the "Quality Trophy for Constructions" affair, in which over 3,000 companies participated, for a price, in events organized by the State Construction Authority and Urban Construct, a construction company owned by Bogdan Popovici, a close friend of the Nastase family;
- Popovici is suspect of paying, out of the money thus obtained, the printing house that produced electoral materials for Adrian Nastase.

In all other three files already existing on Nastase's name, prosecutors need a positive notice from the House of Deputies, in order to begin the criminal inquiry. One of the roughest accusations is that Nastase offered Ioan Melinescu the seat of Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Department in exchange for stealing from the Police evidence proving that Nastase's wife, Dana, deposited 400,000 dollars in a bank, without being able to justify the source of the money.






















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