The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) rejected on Tuesday evening the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) request for the preventive arrest of Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare, who will not be held in custody while investigated by the prosecutors in a case in which he stands accused with three offenses of bribe taking, two offenses of conflict of interest and abuse of office.
The same decision was made in the case of businessman Sorin Strutinsky, but he is under preventive arrest in another case.
The court decision is not final.
According to the DNA, in the period 2006 – 2009, Radu Mazare, benefiting from the aid of the other defendant, requested and received about 2 million euros from the representatives of two companies, for facilitating the issue of the city planning documents necessary for the development of some mall-type real estate projects, which these companies planned on developing in Constanta.
According to the DNA report where the prosecutors asked for the arrest of Radu Mazare, the sums demanded by the Constanta Municipality for issuing urban planning certificates or construction permits depended on the rank of the civil servant receiving them.
According to the prosecutors, ‘the existing practice at the Constanta Municipality of issuing urban planning certificates and construction permits for sums of money and the fact that the rates were different – smaller for the small workers and very high for top civil servants’ has been confirmed by a witness in the case, according to Agerpres.
Another witness said that, upon Gabriel Strutinsky’s request – Strutinsky being also a defendant in the same case – he emailed the officials of a company that was planning to build a shopping mall telling them that, as long as they signed an advertising agreement with a company under Radu Mazare’s control, all permits, authorizations and paperwork necessary would be issued by the Municipality of Constanta. The witness also said that the decision on whether to issue or not building permits for large projects such as a mall was made by the mayor himself.
The prosecutors also say that, after Radu Mazare had taken a bribe of EUR 1 M from another company that wanted to build a mal, all the necessary permits were issued with a promptness that ‘went beyond the limits of possibility’, whilst in other cases urbanism documentation was released with delays of several weeks.
‘I would like to resign and I want to do this soon’
Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare, when he arrived to Constanta from Bucharest, on Wednesday evening, mentioned that he planned to resign soon from the Constanta Mayor office and also from the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
“Yes, I state it very clearly and in Romanian, I would like to resign and I want to do this soon. Don’t ask me what soon means, if in one day or two, but it is a matter of weeks, months, I believe. I want to do the same thing at the party. Should I get to the point in which those in Bucharest exclude me because I am being investigated by a prosecutor? (…) Is this reason enough to exclude me from the party? I know that we are all innocent until a final decision is ruled. But… let them remain with these rules, they, with their party, and me, with my life. I am also entitled to my own life,” Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare, leader of the PSD County Organisation, said.