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Catalin Marian Predoiu, a lawyer linked to Rompetrol boss Dinu Patriciu, is picked as Justice minister

de V.O.
Vineri, 29 februarie 2008, 19:13 English | Top News

Catalin Predoiu a pierdut alegerile la Buzau
Foto: Guvern
Lawyer Catalin Marian Predoiu was officially named as Justice minister of Romania on Friday evening. Earlier today, prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu sent President Basescu the nomination of Predoiu for the Justice seat. Shortly afterwards, Basescu signed the decree naming Predoiu as minister, which puts an end to long lasting disputes about who should run the Romanian ministry in a difficult period of reform for the Romanian judicial sector.

Catalin Predoiu is an associate at law house Zamfirescu, Racoti, predoiu and a member of the Bucharest Bar Council since 2003.

The website of the law house describes him as vastly experienced in commercial law as a service provider in judicial assistance and representation for important, local and international clients involved in corporate deals, mergers and acquisitions.

Tariceanu's nomination of Predoiu came hours after President Traian basescu sent the prime minister a letter inviting him for talks on Saturday, March 1 to solve the problem of the Justice Ministry. The seat of Justice minister has been taken care of for an interim period by Defense minister Theodor Melescanu.

The seat has been left vacant when ex-minister Tudor Chiuariu withdrew late last year at the height of a corruption scandal. PM Tariceanu then nominated Senator Norica Nicolai for the job, but the nomination was rejected by President Basescu, sparking a major constitutional dispute between rivals President Basescu and Tariceanu's Liberal government.

Tariceanu later named Melescanu to cover the job for an interim period. President Basescu made clear he would not agree with Defense minister Melescanu permanently taking over the Justice ministry leadership as Romania prepares to host the NATO summit this spring.

Predoiu's law firm has offered consulting services to Rompetrol, the oil group previously owned and now managed by businessman Dinu Patriciu. Predoiu is partner in the law firm with Andrei Calin Zamfirescu, honorary president of the Lawyers' Union, who is involved in an investigation ran by anti-graft prosecuting body DNA over the bankruptcy of The International Bank of Religions (BIR).

According to law sources, the law firm Predoiu Racoti, prior to their recent merger with Zamfirescu, included both Rompetrol and Marco International among its clients and the services have allegedly been continued after the merger as well.

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