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Thu Feb 26, 2015, 03:25 AM

 

Romanian political class rocked by Microsoft bribe scandal

Bucharest, 2. Oct 2014, 19:53

A bit old but the first I'd heard of it, so....


Romania’s political and business class has been rocked by a bribery scandal involving distributors selling Microsoft products, that has incriminated nine former ministers ahead of a crunch presidential election in November. The scandal involves tens of millions of euros which have been allegedly hidden in off-shore accounts linked to politicians ...

Revelations are causing discomfort for presidential candidates Victor Ponta, prime minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), and Elena Udrea of the Popular Movement (PMP), as they involve some of their senior party figures and close friends.

The bribe and money laundering system, which began around 2003, allowed the state to circumvent public auctions for IT services and allowed Microsoft to sell their licenses for their operating systems at elevated prices to the state through a third party.

The network also involved the state buying computers and software from private firms for public education at vastly overblown prices. The accusation is that, using a complex network of intermediaries, companies would pay a kick-back to politicians through off-shore accounts...

The same witness statement also accuses senior figures of major IT international brands in Romania of influence peddling. "This case of corruption is significant as it involves all the political class, regardless of colour, at the highest level - and - if witness statements are true - many of the most important IT companies on the international market," says IT&C journalist at Romanian news site Hotnews, Adrian Vasilache.

The investigation is likely to take months - if not years - to complete, according to legal experts.

https://euobserver.com/political/125868

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