Former minister Gabriel Sandu, prosecuted for abuse of office in Microsoft 3 case

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The prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) started on Thursday the criminal prosecution of former Communications Minister Gabriel Sandu for abuse of office in the 'Microsoft 3' criminal case.

"Following the fulfillment of the legal and constitutional requirements regarding the carrying out of the criminal prosecution against persons who held a ministerial position at the time of the deeds, respectively obtaining the favorable opinion from the President of Romania, the prosecutors from the National Anti-corruption Directorate — Section for Combating Offences connected to those of Corruption — have ordered the criminal prosecution against Gabriel Sandu, who at the time, served as the Minister of Communications and Information Society, for the abuse of office offense if the civil servant obtains ill-gotten gains for self or others," states DNA in a press release.

President Klaus Iohannis sent to the Minister of Justice the prosecution request of Gabriel Sandu, former Minister of Communications and Information Society from December 2008 to September 2010, for the abuse of office offense if the civil servant obtains ill-gotten gains for self or others, announces the Presidential Administration.

"Romanian President Klaus Iohannis sent to the Minister of Justice the prosecution request of Mr. Sandu Gabriel, former Minister of Communications and Information Society from December 2008 to September 2010, for the abuse of office offense if the civil servant has obtained ill-gotten gains for self or others as stated by art. 132 of Law no. 78/2000 related to art. 297 par. (1) and art. 309 of the Criminal Code, the application of art. 5 of the Criminal Code, the proceedings that will follow will be carried out in compliance with the law, given the request of the Prosecutor's Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, for the deeds subject to the criminal case no. 766 / P / 2016 of POHCCJ — the National Anti-corruption Directorate — the division in charge with combating offenses associated with crimes of corruption, under the dispositions of art. 109 par. (2) of the Constitution of Romania, republished, of Law no. 115/1999 on ministerial responsibility, republished, with the subsequent amendments and supplements, and taking into account the Constitutional Court Decision no. 270/2008. At the same time, the Prosecutor of the High Court of Cassation and Justice was informed about the request having been drawn up," specifies a press release sent to AGERPRES.

The Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, Laura Codruta Kovesi started the procedures for obtaining the approval necessary to start the prosecution of former Minister Gabriel Sandu, in the Microsoft case.

"In compliance with the legal and constitutional provisions, the Chief Prosecutor (...) sent the Attorney general of the High Court of Cassation and Justice the request and the report in view of notifying the Romanian President for requesting the advice necessary to prosecute Sandu Gabriel, who at the time of the deeds, was holding the position of Minister of Communications and Information Society, for the offense of abuse of office by obtaining undue benefits for self or others, " informed DNA.

In the same case, the anti-corruption prosecutors decided to put in motion the criminal prosecution and a 60-day judicial control for five defendants, including Dinu Pescariu and Claudiu Florica. The two, represented in fact / law by D.Con-Net AG, are investigated for instigating the abuse of office offense by obtaining undue advantages for self or others.

According to the DNA, the deeds were perpetrated in the context in which, in April 2009, the commercial contract for the Microsoft licence lease expired. Gabriel Sandu, as Minister of Communications and Information Society, chose to contract a new software lease, something that could be achieved under the current legislation, only by organizing a public tender.

According to the source, the total contract value was worth over 90 million euro, payments being made by the Ministry according to the schedule agreed upon.

"The license provider sent an invoice towards SC Dim Soft SRL, member of the association who won the tender, of only 38,786,000 million euro, representing the price of discount licenses, a discount applied in consideration of the Ministry of Communications and Information Society. However, the leader of the association, D.Con-Net AG, re-invoiced towards the Ministry of Communications and Information Society the amount of 90,182,344.76 euro," the prosecutors further specify.

The damage in this case amounts to 51,396,344 euro, representing the difference between the amount paid by the ministry and the one that was invoiced by the provider of licenses to SC Dim Soft SRL, an undue advantage for D.Con-Net AG being also created.AGERPRES(RO — author: Mihai Stoica, editor: Andreea Rotaru; EN — author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican; online editor: Maria Voican)

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