News review of the day – Thursday, July 3nd

Romanian businessman detained by prosecutors

Prosecutors with Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) detained Horia Simu, a well-known businessman, for his alleged involvement in a corruption-related case. Mr. Simu was brought for questioning to the DNA headquarters in the capital Bucharest with an arrest warrant expected on Friday. Prosecutors tracked down more than 150 paintings, some of them signed by famous Romanian artists such as Corneliu Baba and Gheorghe Petraşcu, as well as luxury watches and jewellery following searches at Mr. Simu’s home late into the night. Once known as „the copper banker”, Mr. Simu entered the copper industry in 2003 when he bought two copper plants but filed for insolvency a few years later. Horia Simu is suspected of abuse of office for claiming illegal compasations from Romania’s National Authority for Restitution of Properties (ANRP) with damages of 55 ml. euros.

Romanian ICCJ upholds MP mandate

Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) upheld the mandate of a lawmaker on Friday. ICCJ upheld the position of Deputy Sebastian Ghiţă allowing him to pursue the exercise of his mandate. Mr. Ghiţă filed a complaint against prosecutors who put him under investigation for his alleged involvement in a corruption-related case. The ruling is final. The court also extended a previous ruling preventing the lawmaker to leave the country while under investigation. However, Mr. Ghiţă may leave his home town of Ploieşti, some 60 km. north from the capital Bucharest, according to the ruling. The allegations refer to crimes committed in 2012 when Sebastian Ghiţă was elected a deputy of the governing Social Liberal Union (USL). Mr. Ghiţă is currently a deputy of Prahova county representing the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD).

RTV executive at the DNA

A media executive of Romania TV appeared before prosecutors with the country’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) in Ploieşti, a town some 60 km. north from the capital Bucharest, on Friday. Alexandru Iacobescu, manager of the RTV television channel, is expected to answer questions concerning his alleged involvement in a tax evasion case. The case also includes lawmakers such as Sebastian Ghiţă and Vlad Cosma, businessman Iulian Herţanu and Mircea Cosma, the suspended head of the Prahova County Council. Prosecutors also freezed Mr. Iacobescu’s bank accounts along with assets of the company owning the Romania TV licence. Mr. Iacobescu allegedly received 90 million euros as a loan from Sebastian Ghiţă, according to Mr. Ghiţă’s statement.

Trade union leader in hunger strike for three days

The leader of the Trade Union Federation in Research and Engineering entered in the third day of his hunger strike on Friday. The hunger strike of trade union leader Radu Minea was declared as a sign of discontent over the current challeges the Romanian research institutions were facing. Mr. Minea told Radio Romania that he was not supposed to end the hunger strike unless Romanian Education Minister Sorin Câmpeanu would address the issue and solve the problems. Radu Minea complained over the unpaid wages and the abusive means used by the managers of such institutions as the Romanian Geology Instiute and research institutions in the farming sector.

Alexandru Danga