Former Romanian PM acquitted in corruption case

Former Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta was acquitted of all charges in a corruption case that targeted his collaboration with the law firm of his friend, former transport minister Dan Sova.

Sova was also acquitted of all charges. The decision is not final.

The corruption case targeted the legal representation contracts Sova’s law firm closed with state-owned electricity producers Complexul Energetic Rovinari and Complexul Energetic Turceni in 2007-2008. According to the prosecutors, Ponta also benefited from some of the money from these contracts as Sova paid him as a collaborator without him actually doing any work.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) sent this case to court in September 2015, when Ponta was still prime minister. The prosecutors charged him with forgery, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering. Dan Sova, a former transport minister and senator, was charged with complicity to abuse of office, forgery, tax evasion and money laundering. The DNA prosecutors asked for jail sentences against the two.

Three former managers of Complexul Energetic Turceni and Complexul Energetic Rovinari were also tried in this case, on abuse of office charges. Two of them were acquitted while the other one was convicted to four years of jail time.

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