January, 15th, 2021
No. 38/VIII/3

Press release

In the case covered by the press release no. 22/VIII/3 from January 11th 2021, as a result of meeting the legal and constitutional conditions required for carrying out the criminal investigation against a person who, at the time of the facts, held the position of Prime Minister, the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate – the Section for Combating the Offences Assimilated to Those of Corruption, have ordered the carrying out of the criminal investigation against the suspect POPESCU-TĂRICEANU CĂLIN CONSTANTIN ANTON, who was the Prime Minister of the Romanian Government at the time of the facts and who was charged with the offence of taking bribe.

The prosecutors' ordinance for carrying out the criminal investigation shows that there are data and evidence that outline the following state of facts:

During 2007-2008, the suspect Popescu-Tăriceanu Călin Constantin Anton, in his capacity as Prime Minister, allegedly received, indirectly, material benefits amounting to USD 800,000, from the representatives of an Austrian company. The material benefits in question consisted of payments for some consultancy services. In exchange, the suspect allegedly performed his office duties in such a way that some Government Decisions would be adopted in favour of the company. The sum of USD 800,000, representing a kickback of the payments made by the Romanian State to the company, was allegedly used for the benefit of the dignitary, in order to cover some election campaign expenses. This amount was transferred based on some fictitious contracts concluded with several off-shore companies.

This case was established in 2018, following the unification of three criminal cases, one of which was taken over by the DNA prosecutors at the request of the Austrian judicial authorities.
On June 3rd 2019, the initial request for approving the carrying out of the criminal investigation was denied by the Senate (this being the authority in charge with denying or approving this stage of the criminal proceedings given the position as Senator held by Popescu-Tăriceanu Călin Constantin Anton at the time).
After this date, the prosecutors carried out criminal investigation activities in the same file regarding the facts and other people.
As a result of gathering additional evidence, there were elements of novelty that outlined the above-mentioned state of facts with reference to the former dignitary.

The defendant was informed about his legal status according to the provisions of article 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In order to confiscate the object of the offence of taking bribe, the prosecutors ordered the seizing of immovable assets belonging to the suspect Popescu-Tăriceanu Călin Constantin Anton up to the amount of USD 800,000, (RON 3,204,640).

It should be mentioned that the carrying out of the criminal investigation represents a stage of the criminal proceedings regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code, an activity which cannot, under any circumstances, violate the principle of presumption of innocence.