2 Romanian ex-ministers jailed for espionage, organized crime, in sale of state companies

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Two Romanian former ministers have been jailed for commercial espionage and treason in the sale of strategic state companies.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Tuesday handed Former Economy Minister Codrut Seres a sentence of four years and eight months for treason and transmitting state secrets; and Zsolt Nagy, former communications minister, a four-year sentence for being part of a criminal group. The ruling is final.

Vadim Benyatov, an international consultant, was sentenced to 4½ years for spying and Stamen Stanchev, a Bulgarian businessman, was sentenced to 5 years and 2 months for creating an organized crime group.

In 2013, a court ruled they obtained secret commercial documents relating to the sale of energy firm Petrom and telecommunications company Romtelecom, between May 2005 and November 2006, and used the information against the country's national interests.

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