Former Minister of Finance charged with bribery and influence peddling

Sebastian Vlădescu, who served as Finance Minister from 2005 to 2007, was charged with corruption in a case worth 20 million euros: yet more proof that the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) is sticking to its guns.

Delia Budurca
Delia Budurca NewsMavens, Romania
Source: Agerpres
Minister of Finance charged with bribery and
influence peddling  - NewsMavens
Sebastian Vladescu. Twitter.

Why this story matters:

The DNA continues to investigate corruption throughout the political spectrum, despite a storm of accusations. Its opponents, most of them powerful politicians, see it as a politicized institution that attacks specific officials to carry out its agenda.

This lack of popularity in political circles is unsurprising, since many of the DNA's loudest accusers are under investigation.

With the Vlădescu case, the DNA sheds light on the corruption mechanisms linking Romanian buisness and politics. State companies enter into commercial relations with private enterprises, bypassing official obstacles with the help of a so-called "commission".

Between 2005-2014, Romanian officials, most notably Sebastian Vlădescu, received 20 million euros in "fees" and "additional funding" from a foreign company that worked on the Bucharest-Constanţa railway line. Now it is up to the DNA to find out in which pockets exactly this money landed.

Details from the story:

  • PNL party member Sebastian Vlădescu served as Minister of Finance in the Tariceanu Cabinet.
  • In the first part of 2005, he claimed a fee of 3.5% of the contract for the Bucharest-Constanta railway from a representative of a foreign company. In return for this commission, he was required, as Minister of Finance, to approve additional funding needed to conclude the contract.
  • In the 2008-2009 period, on the basis of this agreement, Vlădescu received about 1 million euros.
  • From November 2011 to September 2013, he received 65,000 euros as funding for the activities of an offshore company he was associated with.
  • Between September 2010 and January 2013, he requested and received 2,117,000 euros from the same individual, in order to persuade the Minister of Transport to provide the necessary funding to pay invoices for work performed at the Bucharest-Constanta railway section.
  • On Friday, prosecutors informed the former minister of the allegations, according to the provisions of art. 307 Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • For the prosecution of past ministers, the approval of the President of Romania is required.
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