The president of the Romanian Senate, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, has been put on trial in a corruption case involving the illegal restitution of the former royal farm Baneasa and a forest in Snagov to Romanian Prince Paul, according to a decision of Romania’s High Court.
Tariceanu will be tried alongside several former high ranking officials from the Romanian state and foreign citizens.
Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and political consultant Tal Silberstein are also tried in this case, together with the owner of Evenimentul Zilei newspaper Dan Andronic and controversial businessman Remus Truica.
In a nutshell, anti-graft prosecutors claim that Tariceanu was lying when he said that the didn’t know anything about the negotiations that other defendants had about the pieces of land and the forest that should have been restituted to Paul Philippe Al Romaniei.
The estimated loss for the state from these transactions amounts to EUR 135.8 million.
Tariceanu has been a staunch critic of the DNA, claiming that the prosecutors were targeting politicians that talked about the abuses of the judiciary.
Tariceanu had claimed in the past that Romania did not have a rule of law.
The Senate head is also the co-chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, which is part of the ruling coalition in the Government and Parliament alongside the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
Tariceanu’s trial comes on the back of the ongoing political crisis, which has been marked by massive street protests in the past week.
The protesters have asked for the resignation of the government led by Sorin Grindeanu, after it published and repealed controversial amendments to the Criminal Code, which risked undermining the anti-corruption efforts.