Constanta mayor Radu Mazare reported on Friday to the seat of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) – Constanta branch, where he was summoned to be heard by prosecutors.
Upon entering the DNA seat Radu Mazare said that he was summoned in a case referring to a land plot in the seaside resort of Mamaia.
”It’s about the land beneath the famous building Castel in the resort of Mamaia: the building was put into private hands and the land plot was subsequently acquired from the Constanta City Hall in 2004, under a Local Council decision, with all the due assessors’ reports and paperwork. It’s that case I was summoned for, I don’t know what they accuse me of,” Mazare told the journalists.
Anti-corruption prosecutors search Radu Mazare’s municipality offices
DNA prosecutors on Thursday searched 13 locations in Bucharest and in the counties of Constanta and Cluj, with the targets serving as headquarters of a public institution, company seats and private homes, respectively. DNA prosecutors also searched the homes of several persons connected to Strutinsky.
Radu Mazare: ‘I’ll take the kayak out for a round, maybe I won’t be able to do that tomorrow’
‘The deputy mayor came to the municipality at first. In the meantime, I washed my head, I put on some deodorant which reminds me of Brazil and I put on something warmer. I may be back or not. This is life, I am prepared for anything (…). If they take me, that’s fine, if not, I’ll take the kayak out, it’s a beautiful day’, Mazare said.
He left the Constanta Municipality where DNA was conducting searches, after approximately one hour. ‘Deputy Mayor Fagadau, my office chief and my other colleagues remained at the Municipality to give them the documents, which are for a long period. They want to take the documents on the TV company where I worked (SC Soti – a/n), the newspaper, and the company that collects the waste and has a contract with the Municipality since 1990. The judicial officer called the prosecutor. These are contracts since 2007 that have already been checked and construction authorisations for two companies, for the construction of the Maritimo mall and the other one for a shopping centre that was not built after all’, Radu Mazare said.
Asked what he knew about the Tripod Invest SRL company investigated in his case, Mazare said: ‘This is the company that built the Maritimo mall’. The mayor also said he had asked the investigators if he had to be present during the searches and the judicial officers told him that his presence was not necessary. ‘There are thousands of documents, the operation takes a while. I asked the prosecutors: <Are you taking me in or not?> They said: <No, we are not here to take you in>. I asked if I could leave, I told them the deputy mayor was there and he could sign (the paperwork for handing over the documents – a/n). (…) Since I am free today, I will take the kayak out for a round, maybe tomorrow I won’t be able to’, Radu Mazare said.
According to a DNA release to Agerpres, the searches are carried out in a criminal case of suspected corruption, as well as crimes assimilated to corruption, abuse of power and economic crimes committed between 2008 and 2014.
Judiciary sources declared for Agerpres that the Constanta City Hall is among the targeted institutions, with the prosecutors seeking to seize documents referring to the relations established in the period 2007 – 2010 between the City Hall and companies SC Tripont Invest SRL and SC Property Development Two SRL for the construction of mall-type commercial facilities in Constanta, regarding in particular the settlement of applications for the release of town planning certificates and the building permits. The investigators are looking for all the contracts concluded by the City Hall with companies SC Soti Cable Neptun SRL, SC Conpress Holding, SC Polaris M. Holding SRL, SC Conpress Group SRL.
The ANI investigation that envisaged the last two mayoral terms of Mazare, started in 2010, following a press article about a 1 million euro contract awarded to one of Strutinsky’s companies, the same sources said.
Checks found that Radu Mazare signed between 2008 and 2013 several service supply contracts with SC Conpress Holding SRL, where Sorin Strutinsky was a partner. Soti Cable Neptun SRL, another company controlled by the same businessman, landed in 2013 a non-reimbursable financing contract from the Constanta City Hall.
According to the sources, the subsequent checks in the case revealed that Radu Mazare and Sorin Strutinsky had joint economic interests, as they were connected by partnering relations – either as individuals or through companies – in eight trading companies operating in real estate, tourism or trade. The mayor and the businessman were also co-owners of two land plots in Bucharest.
Businessman Sorin Strutinsky detained
Businessman Sorin Strutinsky, President of CVM Tomis Constanta, was detained by the DNA prosecutors on Wednesday in a case where he is suspected of giving bribe and influence peddling and he was taken to Court with a proposal for preventive remand yesterday.
‘There is a denouncement. The criminal action was initiated for the commission of several offences of influence peddling. As far as I know, Mr. Mazare does not appear in this case. It’s a different case, it has nothing to do with Mr. Mazare’s case. In this case the preventive remand measure was proposed in April last year’, the businessman’s lawyer explained when leaving the DNA headquarters.
He confirmed that in Strutisnky‘s case there were also communication interceptions, the businessman being accused of money laundering, influence peddling and forgery of private documents after he was taken in for questioning on Wednesday.
According to DNA, the suspect, a person close to Mayor Radu Mazare, received RON 635,000 and EUR 25,000 to approach company officials to convince them to comply with the contractual terms and conditions.