Eight Accused in Chisinau Airport Concession Case, including Ex-Premier

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Eight persons, including a former prime minister and an ex-minister of economy, are facing charges in the case of concession of the Chisinau International Airport. Head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office Veronica Dragalin said today that the case was submitted to judges, and the damage caused to the state exceeds 392 million lei (about 20 million euros). According to her, the eight persons face up to 8 years of imprisonment with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions for up to 15 years. As part of the case, 20 witnesses were heard and documents were studied, including transcripts from Moldovan and foreign banks, extracted from electronic mailboxes, financial expertise and documents obtained as a result of court orders. The investigation believes that these eight persons, including former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, former Economics Minister Valeriu Lazar, former head of the State Property Agency Tudor Copaci and former airport director Petru Jardan, committed irregularities in organizing the tender for airport concession and allowed changing the percentage of return to the state from 8% to 1%, thereby inflicting damage to the state of at least 392 million lei. Thus, the contest was rigged and the winner was illegally declared a company affiliated with Ilan Shor. In addition, the former premier received sums of money and travelled on Ilan Shor’s private planes, and Petru Jardan worked concurrently as airport manager and Avia Invest administrator. The head of the department noted that in order to cover the damages caused in this case, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office jointly with ARBI managed to seize assets worth 189 million lei, including the share capital and assets belonging to Avia Invest, and property belonging to the accused.