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News 08 Feb 18

Romanian Ex-Minister Found Guilty of Graft

Romania’s Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced former finance minister Darius Valcov to eight years in prison for money laundering and influence peddling, in one of the country’s most high-profile graft cases. 

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
Darius Valcov. Photo: Victor Ponta/Flikr

Romania’s Supreme Court on Thursday jailed former Finance Minister Darius Valcov for eight years for influence peddling, money laundering and transactions that were incompatible with his position in the administration.

Valcov, who now is state secretary and top advisor to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, is one of the masterminds behind the current Social Democrat governance strategy. 

In one of the most high-profile corruption cases in Romania, anti-graft prosecutors indicted Valcov in 2015 for allegedly requesting a bribe from a businessman who asked him to use his influence to help a company win public tenders.

In return, he allegedly asked for 20 percent of the value of the contract and later laundered the money.

The prosecutors confiscated three gold bars as well as 172 paintings worth around 1 million euros, and froze his accounts to recover the damages.  

During the trial, Valcov accused anti-corruption prosecutors of deceiving him after they allegedly promised him a light sentence if he admitted influence peddling.

The court’s judgment can be appealed. Social Democratic Party secretary-general Codrin Stefanescu meanwhile told journalists on Thursday that the party continues to back Valcov. 

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