Bucharest District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie, (photo R) placed under preventive arrest on corruption charges three weeks ago, has been suspended from office by Bucharest Prefect Nicolae Petrovan. The mayor’s prerogatives have been taken over by the deputy mayor and early elections will be organized if Vanghelie is sentenced. The Prefect’s order will remain in force until the mayor is released from preventive arrest.
Marian Vanghelie was placed under preventive arrest on March 14. Prosecutors accuse him of malfeasance in office, passive bribery and money laundering. He appealed against the decision but the High Court rejected his appeal. The former District 5 Mayor is accused of taking a EUR 90 M bribe in order to favour businessman Marin Dumitru’s companies in tenders for public contracts. According to National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors, Vanghelie took a “commission” representing approximately 20 per cent of the value of contracts signed by the District 5 Mayoralty.
Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare (photo L) was placed under 30-day preventive arrest in a case in which DNA prosecutors accuse him of malfeasance in office, passive bribery and conflict of interests. He is accused of taking a EUR 9 M bribe from companies whose applications for public permits he supported.
Mazare has been suspended from office by Constanta County Prefect Constantin Ion. Mazare has been Constanta’s mayor for the past 15 years. The suspension order will remain in force until the preventive arrest measure expires and can be attacked in administrative court.
Cellmates in Bucharest Police jail
Both Mazare and Vanghelie are currently detained in the Bucharest Police’s Central Jail. Mazare was transferred from the Constanta County Police’s Detention and Preventive Arrest Centre to the Bucharest Police’s Central Jail, which he recently called “the king’s dungeon.”
The two suspended mayors share their cell with another mayor – Bradu commune Mayor Florin Fratica – as well as with MP Theodor Nicolescu, also arrested for corruption. According to Romania TV, the four share a six-bed cell that has one toilet and one TV set.