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High-Ranking Official Detained on Suspicion of Corruption

Retired Brigadier General Lazar Iliescu was detained on 5 March under the suspicion he solicited and accepted bribes and was involved in illegal deals, Romanian television reported. After his retirement from the Romanian Army in 2002, Iliescu became deputy director of the Defense Ministry's internal auditing directorate. He will be under investigation by the National Anticorruption Prosecution (PNA) for a period of 29 days. According to the PNA, some of Iliescu's alleged offenses date back to 1996-98, when he was serving as chief of the Defense Ministry's internal financial-control department, while other alleged crimes were committed between 2002-03 in his new civilian position. Mediafax reported that Iliescu solicited and received some 5-10 percent of the value of contracts he approved.

(RFE/RL 9.iii.04)

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