Romania’s anticorruption prosecutors sent the former communications minister Valerian Vreme to court under judicial control for abuse of office in the Microsoft case, DNA announced yesterday.
Vreme, who was communications minister from September 2010 until February 2012, awarded a contract to an association led by the local company D.Con-Net AG, without a public tender.
The contract, concluded between 2010 and 2012, related to the lease of the non-exclusive rights to use Microsoft software products in schools, with the option to purchase them. D.Con-Net AG acquired the licenses with EUR 2.6 million and leased them to the Communications Ministry for EUR 13.9 million. The total damage in this case amounted to EUR 11.3 million.
DNA has also placed a seizure on buildings owned by the former minister. Prosecutors sent the case to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
The Microsoft case is one of the biggest corruption cases investigated in Romania in recent years. It is related to the purchase of overpriced Microsoft IT licenses by the state from third-party companies over a period of more than ten years. Several local politicians and business people, including former communications minister Gabriel Sandu, Vreme’s predecessor, have already been convicted in this case.