Romania’s former Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea sent to court in corruption case
Former Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea was sent to court in a corruption case targeting the privatization of local construction company Tel Drum. Prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) charged him with abuse of office, setting up an organized criminal group, and other corruption crimes.
Other public officials from the county of Teleorman, individuals, and the Tel Drum company, have also been sent to court in the same case.
Prosecutors say that Liviu Dragnea set up an organized criminal group when he was the president of the Teleorman County Council. The group, which allegedly included officials from the local administration, administrators/representatives of SC Tel Drum SA, and other commercial companies, acted between 2001-2017 in order to fraudulently obtain significant sums from contracts financed from public (national and European) funds. They did that “through crimes of abuse of office, fraud of European funds, tax evasion and the use of information not intended for unauthorized persons.”
“For the group’s operation, it would have been necessary to privatize SC Tel Drum SA, transfer it from the property of the Teleorman County Council, through persons interposed, to the patrimony of Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, purchase a special paving machine from public funds, and award road rehabilitation contracts in the county to Tel Drum SA, in a discretionary manner,” DNA said.
According to the prosecutors, one of the crimes targeted the illegal awarding to Tel Drum of a contract to rehabilitate 55 km of county road in Teleorman, DJ 701, in the amount of some RON 114 million, of which EUR 13,772,603 came from European funds.
“In this context, as representative of the Teleorman County Council, defendant Liviu Nicolae Dragnea is believed to have issued and signed decisions and provisions, in violation of the law, indispensable documents for the contract award procedure which, among other things, included a restrictive condition that favored SC Tel Drum SA,” reads the DNA statement.
The same thing allegedly happened in the case of a 50 km rehabilitation contract for the DJ 506 road, which was also awarded to Tel Drum.
DNA prosecutors sent the case to the Bucharest Tribunal.
Liviu Dragnea was released from prison about a year ago, on parole. He served time in a case of fictitious hirings at the Teleorman Child Protection Service.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)