Jul 122013

Romanian justice gave another slap to country’s politicians as the incumbent Minister of Transport Relu Fenechiu was sentenced to 5 years in prison on Friday.

Relu Fenechiu

Romanian Minister Relu Fenechiu sentenced by the high court in Bucharest (Credit: fenechiu.ro)

The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) convicted Fenechiu, also vice-president of the National Liberal Party (PNL), in the “Transformer” case on abuse of office charges in qualified form. The prosecutors had sought a 15-year-conviction. Lucian Fenechiu, the brother of the minister , received the same penalty (5 years) for the same offense.

UPDATE: After hearing court’s decision, Relu Fenechiu resigned from the Ministry.

Both Prime Minister Victor Ponta and PNL President Crin Antonescu said on several occasions that, if convicted, Relu Fenechiu will be forced to resign from the Minister of Transport function.

Just a few hours before the court ruled its decision in the “transformer” case, Victor Ponta expressed hopes that his minister will be acquitted, but that never happened.

“I’ll talk to him, I hope he will be acquitted, but what can I do? I am waiting …” said Ponta.

Fenechiu is blamed for selling dozens of old transformers to the company Electrica Moldova at overvalued prices. According to the investigators, the damages are estimated at over 6 million lei (~2 million euros). Three executives from Electrica Moldova are investigated in the same case. The court’s decision is not final therefore Fenechiu can appeal against his conviction.

Relu Fenechiu revoked from office by Traian Basescu! Premier Victor Ponta becomes the interim Minister of Transport
Romania’s President Traian Basescu signed off a decree stipulating that the Minister of Transport Fenechiu is removed from office after the court ruled a sentence decision against him on Friday.

Pursuant to Articles 85 para. (2) 100 para. (1) and 106 of the Constitution of Romania, and Articles 5 şi7 of Law. 90/2001 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Government and ministries, following the Prime Minister proposal, the President stated: It is dismissed from office the Minister of Transport, Relu Fenechiu” reads the decree posted by the presidency.



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