Former Romanian deputy PM indicted for abuse of office with serious consequences

Former Romanian deputy prime minister Sevil Shhaideh was officially indicted for abuse of office with serious consequences in a case related to the transfer of an island on the Danube from the Environment Ministry to the Teleorman County Council and then to a private company, in 2013.

Shhaideh, who was a state secretary within the Regional Development Ministry at that time, drafted a government decision that allowed the Belina Island, a land area of over 80 hectares, to be transferred from the Romanian Waters company to the Teleorman County Council, which then leased it for ten years to local construction company Tel Drum, believed to be controlled by Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea. The damage in this case is estimated at some RON 3.2 million (EUR 690,000), according to the anticorruption prosecutors.

Ionela Stoian, a former director within the Regional Development Ministry, and Adrian Ionut Gadea, the former president of Teleorman County Council, were also indicted for complicity to abuse of office.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) started prosecuting Shhaideh and former environment minister Rovana Plumb in this case last year. As a result, both ministers were removed from the Mihai Tudose cabinet. However, Shhaideh is now an advisor to prime minister Viorica Dancila while Rovana Plumb is the EU funds minister.

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