Former Romanian intelligence director: FBI started the Microsoft licenses corruption case

The investigation in the corruption case in which nine former Romanian ministers are accused of taking bribes for buying overpriced Microsoft software licenses from public funds hasn’t started in Romania, but in the U.S., said the former director of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Teodor Melescanu.

He added that the investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that this is not a politically influenced investigation/vendetta in Romania, as some politicians claim.

“This won’t be finished easily. This whole deal didn’t start here. The investigation came from the U.S.,” Melescanu said in a TV show hosted by Digi 24 news station. Melescanu, himself a former minister, is now running for President.

Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) has asked various institutions to lift the immunity of nine former Romanian ministers who are investigated for public acquisitions of software licenses at unreasonably high prices.

The licenses provided by American company Microsoft were acquired via Fujitsu Siemens Computers. The Government paid a total of USD 54 million, of which USD 20 million were fees to people involved in the project for Romania’s Government, ministers and by the firms involved in the contract, according to DNA.

Dan Nica, former communications minister and now member of the European Parliament, and Mihai Tanasescu, former finance minister currently vice president for European Investment Bank (EIB), are among the suspects in this case.

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