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September 28, 2021

Whilst under arrest, Mayor Oprescu does not resign

The Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, currently under arrest for 30 days, sent a message from the lockups of Bucharest Police, via his lawyer, Monday night. The lawyer, Alexandru Chiciu, said, after visiting his client in the Police lockup, that the mayor would not resign office.

‘The message to all who rushed to accuse him of corruption is: <Please have a little patience, gentlemen!>’ said the lawyer, according to Mediafax.

The lawyer also noted that Oprescu was feeling better and was already thinking about his defence. Chiciu said there were people who could show certain things against DNA’s accusations.

Monday afternoon, before visiting Oprescu, Chiciu said the mayor had not demanded and had not received money. ‘This man has never asked for sums of money’.

Chiciu told the press that the lawyers had given explanations in court and asked them to understand that he could not disclose the defence strategy.

‘In court, Sorin Oprescu made comprehensive statements and we will reiterate them in front of the judges who will hear the appeal. At this point, the whole legal team is present here, Sorin Oprescu’s son is back in the country or will be soon. Everybody needs to be gathered around Sorin Oprescu. He is not a defeated man, he is a man who is going through a rough time’, said the lawyer.

Asked about the mayor’s health issues and if he felt unwell in court, Chiciu said his client was insulin-dependant and had other conditions that were notorious, but noted that the defence would not invoke those, that being ‘Sorin Oprescu’s wish’.

The Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, was detained by the DNA prosecutors on Saturday night. Sunday night, shortly before midnight, the Tribunal of Bucharest had him preventively arrested for 30 days. The mayor was escorted to the Bucharest Police. The decision is not final and may be appealed against by Sorin Oprescu before the Bucharest Court of Appeal.

According to the investigators, the mayor was handed 25,000 euro by the head of a subordinated institution on Saturday night. The money allegedly came from four denunciators.


Shares cell with Mohammad Munaf


The mayor is sharing the cell at the Bucharest Police with Mohammad Munaf, involved in the abduction of the three Romanian journalists in Iraq, back in 2005. Munaf was convicted of terrorism by the Bucharest Court of Appeal, in 2008, and sentenced to ten years in prison. Since then, he had been internationally wanted by the Interpol. At the end of August, Munaf was brought to Romania.

The two are reportedly incarcerated alone in a cell that would normally accommodate eight persons, according to ciare.com.


 Seven other suspects arrested in the case


Cristian Stanca, Sorin Oprescu’s former driver, Mircea Octavian Constantinescu, Municipality Economic Director, and five other persons were arrested by order of the Bucharest Tribunal in the case where the Mayor of the capital city was charged with bribery. Apart from Oprescu’s former driver and the economic director of the Bucharest Municipality, the Court granted DNA’s request and had arrested, for 30 days, the businessman Claudiu Bengalici and Ruxandra Mihaela Petroi Avasiloae and Florin Supeala, Director General and Deputy Director of the Brancoveanu Palaces of Mogosoaia Cultural Centres, respectively. The Court also placed on house arrest Bogdan Cornel Popa, the Director of the Administration of Cemeteries, and Romeo Albu.

The decision of the Tribunal of Bucharest is not final and may be appealed against by the defendants before the Court of Appeal.

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