Romanian former Economy minister Codrut Seres faced renewed hearings on Wednesday in a case where he is accused of treason and transfer of secret information regarding the fate of an 8% stake in oil company Petrom. He is investigated by DIICOT, the main anti-graft, anti-organized crime body in Romania.

Prior to the hearings Seres told the media that he would talk about the promotion of a law regarding the sale of an 8% stake of Petrom, which belongs to company employees. He said his Ministry complied with all legal procedures when it initiated the legislation.

Prosecutors’ resolutions show that throughout 2005 Seres has had several meetings with Bulgarian citizen Stamen Stancev, suspected of organizing a criminal network in relation with the privatization of Romanian energy companies.

They say the meetings were aimed at setting the lines of a bill to be promoted by the Government, for the sale of the 8% stake in Petrom to the company’s employees.

The hearings are part of a larger investigation related to alleged abuses in the privatization of major energy assets in Romania, including Petrom, which is now part of the OMV group.