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Romania launches corruption investigation into former ministers over Microsoft deal

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Romania launches corruption investigation into former ministers over Microsoft deal

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Romania’s anti-corruption authority (DNA) has launched an investigation into nine former ministers suspected of accepting bribes in a licensing deal with Microsoft.

It is the largest corruption scandal to hit the country and parliament will vote to lift the immunity of the suspects, just weeks ahead of presidential elections.

The names cited by DNA include Dan Nica, Valerian Vreme, Daniel Funeriu, Alexandru Athanasiu, Mihai Tanasescu, Gabriel Sandu and Adriana Ticau. The senators Ecaterina Andronescu and Serban Mihailescu are likely to appear before a judicial committee on October 8th.

The current prime minister’s name has been mentioned in connection with the case.

“All procedures are being followed and nobody is refusing to cooperate,” explained Prime Minister Victor Ponta. “All those involved will have a chance to defend their actions. These are people who have enjoyed a clean reputation all their lives and it is their right to also state their point of view.”

The allegations date back to 2004 and run up to 2012, when the Romanian government was said to have bought Microsoft software intended for use in schools at 30-40 percent the market average from re-sellers.

Though Microsoft itself is not suspected of involvement, Fujitsu Siemens has also been cited in the case.