Prosecutors of Ploiesti National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD) carried out searches at the headquarters of the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) in Bucharest. The case involves suspicions of corruption acts, money laundering and influence peddling.
The investigation concerned the chair of the PEA, Ana Maria Patru, who is suspected of influence peddling and money laundering.
The first information that appeared in the media reveals that Florin Stefan Patru, husband of the PEA chair, tried to flee with the documents that were sought by the NAD prosecutors. Judicial sources told for digi24.ro that those documents are required to disclose the circuit of bribery that involved a company, owned by Florin Patru. He is likely to be indicted for aiding and abetting, as soon as the searches are completed.
Also on Monday at 3:00 p.m., Ana Maria Patru came to Ploiesti NAD, along with her lawyer, Cristian Ene, the same lawyer that defended Vasile Blaga, former Co-President of the National Liberal Party. She will be examined by anticorruption prosecutors and in the next few hours we will have the first official information.
According to the press release, issued Monday morning by NAD:
"Prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Directorate of Ploiesti Territorial Service are investigating a criminal case on suspicions of corruption offences, committed in 2008 -2015.
In the morning of 15 November 2016, following the authorization issued by the competent court, searches were conducted in four locations in Bucharest and in Ilfov and Valcea Counties, one of the locations is situated within an a public institution, while the others in the homes of individuals.
In this case, prosecutors are supported by Gendarmerie Special Intervention Brigade.
It is not a secret that Ana Maria Patru is part of Traian Basescu’s entourage. Sources claimed Patru came to the leadership of PEA in 2007 on Basescu's proposal.
The head of PEA never hesitated to appear in the entourage of the former President. On the night of presidential elections, she was captured while having a meal with Basescu and some LDP leaders in the famous restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest, a place fancied by the former head of the state.
The head of the PEA appeared in the restaurant, accompanied by the LDP leaders, including the former Prime Minister Emil Boc, she dined with Vasile Blaga and Monica Iacob Ridzi. To fend off her ties with the political class, Ana Maria Patru revealed that she is in friendly relations with several politicians, including Elena Basescu and she attended that event in her free time. According to mediafax.ro, she did not offer any further explanations.
Ana Maria Patru came to lead the Permanent Electoral Authority in May 2012, when the Parliament approved her candidacy on the proposal of the LDP. For five years (2007-2012), she served as Vice President of PEA, enjoying the support of the Presidential Administration. Patru also held the position of coordinating director of southwest branch of Oltenia PEA in 2005 and 2007.