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Radio România Internaţional

12 August 2014
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The second biggest high-level corruption case in Romania is that of the powerful businessman Dan Voiculescu, the founder of the Conservative Party.

Resounding sentences

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Businessman Dan Voiculescu. Foto: rri.ro

Dan Voiculescu’s problems with the law started in 2008 and ended now in 2014 with his sentencing to 10 years in prison for money laundering in the famous file regarding the privatization of the Institute of Food Research.

With the complicity of several other people, who were also sent to prison, Voiculescu bought the Institute, located in a select residential area of Bucharest, for a little over 100 thousand euros, at a time when the land surrounding the building was worth almost 8 million euros.

Prosecutors estimated the damage at 60 million euros, which is the real value of the land at the moment when Voiculescu bought the institute.

To recuperate the damage the Romanian state decided to seize Voiculescu’s assets, including the building from where the mogul’s TV stations, Antena 1 and Antena 3, are broadcasting.

If Antena 1 is a general station, Antena 3 is a news station turned into an instrument of propaganda in favour of the Conservative Party and its circumstantial political allies, and especially into a weapon targeted at its adversaries.

It is well known that Voiculescu’s greatest enemy and the main target of his TV stations’ attacks has been President Traian Basescu, whom he accuses of being behind his indictment and sentencing.

Left wing politicians, close to Voiculescu and his party, promised to fight for the freedom of expression of the journalists working for Antena 3, implying that this is threatened by the court’s verdict.

However, the independent associations of journalists and unbiased commentators pointed out that there is no court verdict that endangers the activity of the journalists working for Voiculescu’s TV stations, trying to do away with any manipulation of the public opinion.

But who is Dan Voiculescu, besides the image he created for himself, as the victim of the Basescu regime?

He is a proven collaborator with the former political police of the Communist regime, the Securitate, who allegedly took hold of the accounts of the Ceausescus.

The epitome of the mogul who made a huge fortune in the post-Communist years, Voiculescu is actually one of the characters in the documentary entitled “Kapitalism, our secret recipe” made by Alexandru Solomon 20 years after the fall of the Communist dictatorship.

In the film, the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu returns after 2 decades and realizes, quite surprised, that the pillars of the new capitalist society are actually the former pillars of the Communist era, who fueled a network of connections and a corrupt system that drained the country of all its resources.

Ironically, three of the characters in the documentary, among whom Voiculescu, are now imprisoned on corruption charges. 


Etichete Dan VoiculescujailsentenceIFRcomplicitymoney launderingprosecutorsAntena 3Conservative PartyTraian BasescuTV stationdamage

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