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Romania: charges sought regarding govt discounts

September 2, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Anti-corruption prosecutors have accused two Romanian politicians of illegally giving discounts worth $130 million to a businessman while serving as Cabinet ministers, and recommended they be charged with undermining the nation’s economy.

Monday’s request was made to Romania’s general prosecutor, who will make the decision.

The illegal discounts were allegedly given to businessman Ioan Niculae from 2006 to 2010 to transport natural gas from state company SNGN Romgaz to his own company, Interagro SA.

The anti-corruption prosecutors said that happened when Varujan Vosganian was economic minister 2006-2008, and when Adriean Videanu held that government position in 2008-2010.

Niculae was separately charged in 2012 with having illegally bought gas at a preferential rate. He has denied wrongdoing.

Vosganian said Monday the discounts given to Niculae were standard business practice.

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