Romanian Organized Crime Chief Prosecutor arrested for corruption

Alina Bica, the Chief Prosecutor with the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), was put under criminal investigation for abuse of office by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and was taken into custody for 24 hours.

Alina Bica was questioned by the DNA on Thursday night not for her activity as Chief Prosecutor of the DIICOT, but for her previous activity as part of a commission within Romania’s National Authority for Property Restitution (ANRP), the state institution which determined the compensations paid to people whose assets had been confiscated by the communist regime.

As member of that commission, Bica allegedly approved compensation for a 13-hectare land in a suburb of Bucharest which was significantly overpriced, according to DNA. The value of the land was artificially increased from EUR 27 million to EUR 89.4 million, damaging the state by EUR 62.4 million.

The beneficiary of the compensation was businessman Gheorghe Stelian, who, based on ANRP’s decision, received Fondul Proprietatea shares worth EUR 89.4 million, in 2011. Stelian had previously bought the litigious rights for the land from its rightful heirs.

Alina Bica allegedly received a land plot in Snagov for her decision, which she then sold to businessman Dorin Cocos, an associate of Gheorghe Stelian, according to judicial sources quoted by Mediafax.

Dragos Bogdan and Lacramioara Alexandru who were also part of the Central Commission for Compensation of the ANRP were also held for 24 hours in this case, as was Emil Nitu, the expert who determined the value of the land for the compensation.

Another member of the ANRP commission, Sergiu Ionut Diacomatu, as well as Gheorghe Stelian, the beneficiary of the compensation, were put under judicial control. Magyar deputy Marko Attila Gabor is also investigated in this case.

Alina Bica, 40, has been working as a prosecutor since 1996. She has been serving as a prosecutor of DIICOT since 2004. From January 2009 until May 2012 she was State Secretary in the Justice Ministry. It was during this period that she was a member in the Central Commission for Compensation of the ANRP. Bica was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the DIICOT in October 2012, by PM Victor Ponta.

Bica came into public attention just before the first round of the presidential elections in Romania, when photos were released in the Romanian media showing her together with presidential candidate Elena Udrea, shopping in Paris.

Elena Udrea’s name also appears in this case, as does the name of her ex-husband Dorin Cocos, according to Mediafax. Dorin Cocos was arrested in October for his involvement in the Microsoft case.

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