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March 24, 2023

OTV director, two businessmen detained in pandering case

The Bucharest District 2 Judge Hall on Friday ordered the 29-day preventive arrest of OTV channel director Doru Iuga, businessmen Klaus Zander and Andrei Staicovici and of three other people, held on charges of pandering or statutory rape, according to Mediafax.

The court also issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Costel Turcanu, aka Scooby, one of the alleged panderers in the group, according to a spokesperson for the Bucharest Prosecutor’s Office, Bogdan Staicu, quoted by the news agency. Turcanu is believed to have left the country and investigators have information that he is currently in Germany.

Court debates in the file lasted for only half an hour, given that five of the six suspects detained refused to make any statements in front of magistrates. The only one who made statements was Iuga, who insisted that he was innocent of all the charges. Of the six people who were remanded, four are accused of pandering and two are accused of statutory rape, according to legal sources.

The same sources said prosecutors have eight volumes of phone tapping transcripts in the case and that these reveal discussions rather pornographic bet­ween group members. According to the sources, poor people were recruited and asked to have intercourse with various customers, in exchange for money and sometimes even food.

After hearing over 20 people, prosecutors decided to press charges against 15, a spokesperson for the Bucharest police, Diana Sarca, said. Those heard by investigators included a Romanian fourth league football player, who is a witness in the case.

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