Marian Vanghelie has appealed in the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) against the magistrates’ decision to extend his preventive arrest with 30 days. The High Court heard the appeal made by the ex-Mayor of District 5 of Bucharest on Friday and decided to keep him on remand.
The ICCJ judges backed the 8 April ruling of the ICCJ rights and freedoms judge who had extended his remand measure, handed down on 14 March, with 30 days.
Vanghelie’s cousin, Mircea-Sorin Niculae, partner in and manager of a number of companies, has also been under arrest since 14 March, on a charge of complicity in bribe-taking and money laundering. Vanghelie’s chauffeur, Adrian Murgoci, the manager of Economat District 5, Laura Ciocan, and her husband, Sorin Ciocan, are all being investigated into while on probation on aiding and abetting charges.
The Court also declined the appeal made by Vanghelie’s cousin, Mircea Sorin Niculae, a partner in and manager of several companies, who will also spend the next 30 days in custody.
Marian Vanghelie ahs been on remand since 14 March, in a case where the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors charged him with abuse of office, bribery and money laundering, some of the offences being committed by favouring Marian Dumitru’s companies in the award of public works contracts by the Municipality of District 5.
Bucharest Prefect Nicolae Petrovan on 28 March suspended Marian Vanghelie as Mayor of District 5 of the Capital City, a post he had held for the past 15 years, after his arrest had been definitively decided on 27 March.
‘From 2007 to present, the defendant Vanghelie, in exchange for material benefits, has helped a businessman obtain for his companies numerous contracts for public works with a total value of approximately RON 2 bn. For awarding and paying for the contracts for the performance of public works, the defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel charged a <commission> of approximately 20% of the value of the contracts awarded by the District 5 Municipality and subordinated institutions, on the one hand, and companies under the businessman’s control, on the other hand’, DNA says.
The ‘commission’ in question was paid by businessman Dumitru Marin to Vanghelie via Mircea-Sorin Niculae (the mayor’s cousin) and another close person, the prosecutors claim.
‘This commission was partly also paid as agreements, not justified from a commercial point of view, between SC Premier Palace SRL (a company controlled, via off-shore companies, by the same businessman) and companies controlled, via other persons, by Vanghelie, agreements under which the former company would pay the latter important sums. The existing information on file indicates that some of the beneficiaries of such contracts (and sums herein) were București SA, Fashion Brand Management SRL (defendant Niculae being an associate in both) and Economat Sector 5 SRL (where General Manager is the defendant Ciocan)’, DNA says.
The investigators found that part of the ‘commission’ had been paid by ceding two new properties to people close to the mayor.
‘For the guarantee of the payment of the <commission> of 20% of the value of the public contracts, a businessman ceded the control of a company to people close to he defendant Vanghelie. Another way of paying the 20% <commission> was the payment by the companies under the same person’s control of the cost of renovating and remodelling various spaces used by the company controlled by Fashion Brand Management SRL’, DNA notes.