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Direcția Națională Anticorupție

MINISTERUL PUBLIC

PARCHETUL

DE PE LÂNGĂ

ÎNALTA CURTE DE CASAȚIE ȘI JUSTIȚIE

 
IMPARȚIALITATE·INTEGRITATE·EFICIENȚĂ

May, 18th, 2016
No. 654/VIII/3

Press release


The prosecutors within the National Anticorruption Directorate – Brașov Territorial Service sent to trial,
under home arrest against the defendants:

TRUICĂ REMUS, a businessman, regarding the perpetration of the following offences:
- setting up a criminal organized group,
- traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official received for himself/herself or for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,
- money laundering,
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,
- giving of bribe,

AL ROMÂNIEI PAUL PHILIPPE, regarding the commission of the following offences:
- buying of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official received for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,
under judicial control against the defendants:

ANDRONIC DAN CĂTĂLIN, political advisor, journalist, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group, by adhering to it,
- complicity to traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,

MARCOVICI MARIUS ANDREI, administrator of a commercial company, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group, by adhering to it,
- complicity to traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,

MATEESCU LUCIAN CLAUDIU, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group, by adhering to it,
- complicity to traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,

SIN GHEORGHE, when the deeds were committed, acting as the Secretary-General of the Academy of Agricultural Science in Romania, currently chairman of the same institution, regarding the commission of the offences of complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

DIMA NICULAE, when the deeds were committed, acting as the secretary of Snagov Mayor’s Office and member in the local commission of land fund, regarding the commission of the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

CHIRIAC THEODOR, when the deeds were committed, acting as technical director within Ilfov Forestry Department, delegated to the position of the chief of the above mentioned Department, regarding the offences of:
- abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences, through repeated acts and activities,
- indirect participation in money laundering,

JECU NICOLAE, when the deeds were committed, acting as Prefect of Ilfov County, regarding the commission of the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

DELCEA VALENTIN, regarding the commission of the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

PĂVĂLOIU NELA, regarding the commission of the offences of:
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,
- money laundering,
and without being taken under pretrial detention the defendants:

ROȘU ROBERT MIHĂIȚĂ, partner lawyer within a law firm, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group,
- traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences, (2 deeds).

TAL SILBERSTEIN, a foreign citizen, businessman, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group,
- traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,

BENYAMIN STEINMETZ, a foreign citizen, businessman, regarding the offences of:
- setting up a criminal organized group,
- complicity to traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- complicity to money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,

MOSHE AGAVI, foreign citizen, businessman, regarding the offence of setting up a criminal organized group, by adhering to it,

SC RECIPLIA SRL, regarding the offences of:
- traffic of influence, through repeated acts and activities,
- money laundering, through repeated acts and activities,

GHEORGHIȚĂ DRAGOMIRA, regarding the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

DICU CORINA TEODORA, lawyer, regarding the offence of complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

STOIAN IOAN, regarding the commission of the offence of complicity to abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

MUȘAT APOSTOL, when the deeds were committed, Mayor of Snagov Commune, regarding the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences, through repeated acts and activities,

POPA CATERINA, regarding the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

OLTEANU GHEORGHE, regarding the offence of abuse of office when the public official obtained for another person an undue advantage with very serious consequences,

GOSTIN MARIN, regarding the offence of forgery.

On the same occasion, the anticorruption prosecutors requested the trial court to order the pretrial detention measure in absentia, against the defendants STEINMETZ BENYAMIN, TAL SILBERSTEIN and MOSGE AGAVI, for a period of 30 days, which will start on the date of enforcing the arrest warrants, considering the state of facts and the circumstance that the defendants evade the investigation.
The indictment drawn up by the prosecutors states the following facts:
The defendants are charged with accusations referring to the offences committed during 2006 -2013 in various forms of participation (authorship, complicity or incitement), in order to obtain some properties of an important value, among which the Snagov Forest (30 km from Bucharest city) and Băneasa Royal Farm (close to Bucharest city), unlawfully claimed by the defendant Al României Paul Philippe.
On one hand, the defendant Paul Philipe Al României bought the influence that the defendant Truică Remus had over various public officials from the public institutions owning the two properties. On the other hand, the defendant Truică Remus presented "the business" to certain financially powerful people, who he associated with, setting up a criminal group, in order for them to get involved in the criminal arrangements, the only way of obtaining the properties illegally claimed by Paul Philipe Al României.
Thus, starting with November 2006, the defendants Truică Remus, Roșu Robert Mihăiță, Tal Silberstein, Benyamin Steinmetz, setting up a criminal group with the purpose of obtaining the entire property illegally claimed by Al României Paul Philippe by offering money/goods to the public servants within the public authorities/institutions that had the possession of these properties and of complicity of the latter to committing the offences of abuse of office, by making available and signing the necessary documents, by trafficking the real influence over the public servants. The defendants Andronic Dan, Marcovici Marius Andrei, Moshe Agavi and Mateescu Lucian subsequently adhered to the criminal group: the first three in 2007, and the latter in 2011.
TRUICĂ REMUS, former councilor at the Prime Minister Chancellery until 2004, being known, according to the public data, as an individual with influence within the public authorities, even after he was discharged from the respective public position.
ROȘU ROBERT MIHĂIȚĂ, lawyer of an well-known law firm, actively got involved in the arrangement for the signing of the contracts, transmission of notifications, according to those agreed with TRUICĂ REMUS),
TAL SILBERSTEIN, under the pretext of political consultancy activities carried out through a company, carried out several lobby activities in Romania)
BENYAMIN STEINMETZ, the one who led, from outside of the country, the criminal relations of the organized group, rarely being present in Romania, ensured the majority of the money needed within the criminal project which is the subject of this criminal case.
MARCOVICI MARIUS ANDREI was considered "the Tal’s man", the individual with whom the discussion was made when Tal was not present or who transmitted the orders of the defendant TAL SILBERSTEIN; in his capacity as the councilor of the Prime Minister, contributed to strengthening of the belief of the defendant AL ROMÂNIEI PAUL in the real influence of the group within the political world.
ANDRONIC DAN was considered a person having influence in the media, and in the political world too, being a consultant responsible with the election campaign of the Prime Minister.
MOSHE AGAVI acted within the group representing the interests of BENYAMIN STEINMETZ
The defendant Al României Paul Philipe, together with the defendant Truică Remus and with the other members of the group, covered the illegal nature of the agreement, by concluding on November 1st, 2006, an assignment contract, having as an object some pieces of land. Those pieces of land were at that time under administrative or judicial procedures for property restitution. The contract was signed between Al României Paul and the commercial company SC Reciplia SRL, represented by Truică Remus. Concretely, this contract drawn up by the lawyer Roșu Robert stipulates that Al României Paul Philipe, in the capacity of the assignor transmits/assigns without a clause, for a consideration, all his present and future rights over certain properties, listed and identified in the contract (among which Băneasa Farm with an area of land of 28.63 ha and Snagov Forest with forestry land of about 30 ha).
The defendant Al României Paul Philipe promised to the defendant Truică Remus and to the latter’s associates within the criminal group, an important share quota, between 50% and 80%, of the value of the goods which were claimed in Romania and, subsequently, gave them the goods, to the extent to which the goods were obtained, by fictitious signing sale-purchase contracts with Reciplia SRL (a private company). This was done in order to intercede with the public officers involved in the retroceding procedures, by the direct influence (on the councilor of the prime minister then in fonction) and indirect influence, through his relations in the political world, in the judiciary, at the highest level and in the media (friendship /business relations with the members of the government, members of the Parliament, public officers, with people having influence in the media, relations in the High Court of Cassation and Justice, signing service contracts with top law firms), in order for these people to illegally determine the unlawful obtaining of the property reclaimed by Al României Paul Philipe.
Reciplia SRL undertook to pay in certain circumstances an amount of money and to provide support and assistance regarding the property under administrative or judicial restitution procedure.
Subsequently, as a result of the assignment contract, the defendant Al României Paul Philipe signed other documents/contracts with the purpose of covering the illegal origin of the property that was to be retroceded, among which the addendums on March 20th, 2007, (regarding 12 immovable goods, among which Peleș Palace), April 4th, 2007 (regarding the immovable goods forming Balcic Royal Domain), October 4th, 2007 (regarding 11 immovable goods, agricultural land areas, forestry land areas as well as buildings in Sinaia and Bucharest), as well as sale-purchase promissory agreements, agreements.
After the properties Snagov Forest and Băneasa Farm were obtained, they were transferred by the defendant AL ROMÂNIEI PAUL by sale-purchase contracts to RECIPLIA SRL, for underrated prices, dissimulating the illegal origin.
SC RECIPLIA SRL sold further to other people, without obtaining any money.
The activity carried out by the members of the group in order to illegally obtain Snagov Forest.
Following the agreement made with the defendant Al României Paul Philippe, the defendant Păvăloiu Nela promised that, through the influence he had among the public officers with office duties in the retroceding procedure for Snagov Forest, he could make them to act according to his interests. Thus, he made arrangements at the Snagov Mayor’s Office and the Prefect’s Institution of Ilfov, drew up requests, memos, and made available for the public officers documents and, through the Mayor Mușat Apostol, with whom he has a close relationship, with the support of certain individuals from the leadership of certain political parties, exerted his influence over the public officers within the Local Commission Snagov and Ilfov County Commission of Land Fund, making them to validate the retroceding to the defendant Al României Paul of the area of 46.78 ha of forest land, although the defendant failed to submit the request in a valid form, and failed to bring the evidence of the deed of Carol the 2nd, or of his rights in the succession of the latter.
Instead, the defendant Păvăloiu Nela was to receive 30% of the value of the property that was to be retroceded.
Concretely, during September-November 2005, a request and a further application were registered at Snagov Mayor’s Office through which the defendant Al României Paul Philippe claimed the restitution of 47 ha forest, an area of land located in Snagov village.
On March the 9th 2006, the minutes of the committee to establish ownership of land within the municipality Snagov was drafted, that ascertained that the defendant Paul of Romania met the conditions for the restoration of property rights of 46,78 hectares. Although, through the official letter dated February the 24th, 2006 and March the 10th 2006, the representative of Forest Division Snagov opposed the restitution, as the property paper was missing and the claimed land deed was not included in the Appendix to Decree 38/1948.
The evidence showed that in fact a commission meeting was never organized, but because the Secretary of the village insisted about the fact, the defendant public official Dima Niculae signed Appendix 37 (mentioning the person and the area approved to be restituted), which was submitted to the County Commission for validation for 46, 78 hectares of forest. Both the minutes and Annex 37 were signed by the Mayor Apostol Musat and Secretary Dima Niculae and forwarded for validation to the county commission within Ilfov Prefecture.
The documents proving that the defendant Paul Philippe of Romania has the status of an entitled person, that his predecessor held a property title on that land, the surface of land area and of the fact that he owned the forest at the time of expropriation were not submitted as part of the restitution file.
By violating the legal provisions (Law 1/2000, Law 247/2005), the defendant Delcea Valentin, acting as an under-prefect of Ilfov county and as a member of the county commission of the forestry fund, has approved within the commission and later signed the decision no. 1156 from July the 7th 2006, acknowledging AL ROMÂNIEI PAUL PHILIPPE’s property right upon the claimed surface of land, although he has never submitted any written documents indicating that he was acting as a lawfully entitled and that the plot of land was inherited from Carol the Second. The defendants Popa Caterina and Olteanu Gheorghe were also part of the commission that approved the decision.
After issuing the validation decision, the effective vesting of possession was performed, with the support of the Mayor Musat Apostol, having the defendant Truică Remus on the other side, who approached people within the Forestry Department Ilfov, the only institution which could have ordered the vesting of possession.
The defendant Truică Remus approached the Technical Director of the Forestry Department, one of his friends, the defendant Chiriac Theodor. On behalf of the Head of the Directorate, he signed an official letter by which the Forestry Directorate requested the Forest Division to vest into possession the defendant Al României Paul. Later, on June the 26th 2007 and August the 15th 2007, the defendant Al României Paul Philippe was vest into possession with the total surface of 46,78 hectares of forest located in Snagov village.
From the restituted surface, the defendant Păvăloiu Nela received a part of 78.792 square meters. Seeking to conceal the illicit origin of the land received in Snagov (acquired through the corruption offences mentioned above), for which in 2008 signed fictitious selling-buying contracts with Reciplia SRL on behalf of his company, Ilko Star SRL (selling-buying contract purchase no. 7 / 08.01.2008 and the selling-buying contract no. 266 / 21.02.2008), Păvăloiu Nela transferred the entire land area of 78.792 square meters, on behalf of a company, Mercure Commerce International Ltd, established in September the 28th, 2015, as a capital contribution. That company is controlled in fact by the defendant and is owned and managed by his daughter.
It was established that, with the help of two facilitators, the defendant Teodor Chiriac concealed the unduly benefit 1,000 square meters of forest land in Fundul Sacului area, received as result to the performance of duties in bad faith, by interposing the two in the transfer of ownership of the property. Subsequently, at the request of Theodor Chiriac, the land was sold with the help of the same intermediates and the price of 50,000 euros was collected by Theodor Chiriac, although the official document mentioned only 5,000 euro. Thus Theodor Chiriac came into possession of the bribe, also causing those involved in this transaction to conceal, without guilt, the true nature of its origin.
Immediately after the vesting into possession, although he was aware of the official decision of 1941 of ÎCCJ (decision acknowledging the property right of the Romanian State upon the plot of land unfavorable to King Carol al II-lea) the defendant Jecu Nicolae, acting as a prefect, issued the property titles no. 243/07.08.2007 – for 10 hectares and no. 246/31.08.2007– for 36,78 hectares in the name of the defendant Al României Paul Philippe.
As result of the abusive action of the mentioned defendants lead to a damage caused to the Romanian State amounting to 9,523,769 euro, that was at the same time the value of the undue benefit for Al României Paul Philippe, Păvăloiu Nela, Truică Remus and the members of the criminal group the latter was part of.
The activity implemented by the members of the group in order to fraudulently acquire the Royal Farm Băneasa
Among the claimed goods, the buyer pf influence Paul Philippe of Romania also claimed the Băneasa Farm for which a notification was submitted in 2002, without an answer being granted until this criminal group took over the "business". In 2008, following the aforementioned notification related to the Royal Farm Băneasa submitted for settlement by Paul Philippe al României to the Institute for Research and Development for Plant Protection Bucharest, the defendants Roșu Robert and Truică Remus, with the aim to receive undue benefits, helped the director of the Institute to persuade the Institute's board members to unlawfully approve Al României's request, by breaching the legal provisions. The defendant was fully aware that the documentation was not complete and the legal conditions for the restitution of the land are not met. He participated to the meeting of the administration council of the institute and put pressure upon its members (by invoking his lineage and claims of damages in case his request was rejected).
As a result, through the decision no. 30 from September the 26th 2008, the administration council of the institute ordered, by violating the art. 8 of Law no.10/2001, the restitution in kind of the Royal Farm Băneasa, an agreement of delivery- takeover being concluded in the same day, although the land was still not identified. In the first stage, an opposition to the restitution stage occurred, as the land subject to restitution hosted research activity, while the president of the academy constantly opposed the request that he considered to be illegal. Although, on July the 29th, 2008, the general secretary Sin Gheorghe submitted an official letter to the institute and requested a meeting of the administration council in order to analyze the request of Paul Philippe al României, who was personally invited to the meeting.
In the same day, Paul Philippe al României was informed about the issuing of the order for summoning the council in order to analyze his request. The evidence of the file indicates that this official letter of Sin Gheorghe was requested from Remus Truică by the director of the institute, as a pre-requisite for admitting the request, within the fraudulent agreement among them. Following this official letter, the director summoned the administration council to participate in the meeting taking place on the 2nd of September 2008, where Paul Al României and his lawyer Robert Roșu were also invited. Sin Gheorghe also participated in the meeting, this being the only meeting he has ever participated. Through the position he had in this meeting, by supporting the restitution request together with the director of the institute, the members of the administration council got the false feeling for that the Academy agrees with this decision.
As a result, the administration council decided the restitution in kind of the specific plot of land.
The restitution decision was an abusive one, as the request was not accompanied by supporting documents proving the capacity of justified heir or the scope of the Law 10/2001 related to the location of the land, and the land was not identified by law. Thus the damage caused to the Romanian State amounted to 135,874,800 euro (the equivalent of 500,399,713 lei).
The result of the carried-out criminal activity was the abusive restitution of Snagov Forest and a damage caused amounting to 9,523,769 euro, as well as of the Royal Farm Băneasa, with a damage caused to the Romanian State amounting to 135,874,800 euro.
The two sums amounting to 145,398,569 euro also represent undue benefits for the defendants Al României Paul Philippe, Truică Remus and their associates within the criminal group.
The prosecutors ordered the seizing measure upon several movable and immovable goods belonging to defendants Truică Remus, Roșu Robert Mihăiță, Andronic Dan Cătălin, Marcovici Marius Andrei, Mateescu Lucian Claudiu, Al României Paul Philippe, Sc Reciplia Srl, Păvăloiu Nela, Mușat Apostol, Dima Niculae, Jecu Nicolae and Chiriac Theodor.

The file was sent for trial to the Court of Appeal Brașov, with a proposal to maintain the preventive and insurance measures ordered in this case.

It should be mentioned that this stage of the criminal proceedings represents, according to the Criminal Procedure Code, the completion of the criminal investigation and the referral of the indictment to the court, for trial, a situation which cannot, under any circumstances, infringe the principle of resumption of innocence.

THE INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE