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October 26, 2020

Court to decide on mayor Oprescu’s challenge to preventive arrest on September 14

The Bucharest Court of Appeal will judge on September 14 the appeal Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu filed to the decision to have him placed under preventive arrest in a case where anticorruption prosecutors accuse him of bribe taking.

On September 7, the Bucharest Tribunal accepted the proposal of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) to place Oprescu under preventive arrest, but the decision is not final and the mayor challenged it.

Oprescu was taken into custody on Saturday night, after being caught red handed while receiving bribe.

Also arrested in the same case were Mircea Octavian Constantinescu, director with the Bucharest City Hall, the mayor’s former driver Cristian Stanca, and heads of the Cultural Centre “Brancoveanu Palaces” Florin Supeala and Ruxandra Petroi Avasiloae, as well as businessman Claudiu Bengalici, who all subsequently had preventive arrest warrants issued against them.

Head of the Cemeteries and Human Crematories Administration Bogdan Popa and Romeo Albu were placed under house arrest.

According to DNA, between 2013 – 2015, a well-structured ring that had also been joined by Oprescu, set up with the Bucharest local administration a system whereby the companies seeking contracts from the public institutions reporting to the mayor had to direct a part of the gross profit collected from the awarded contracts as bribe to the decision-makers in the system.

“The contractors kept 30 to 33 percent of the gross profit and handed out the rest of it to officials in the municipal administration of Bucharest, as bribes, with 10pct demanded for Oprescu,” the DNA explained in a media release. The mayor’s subordinates in authority positions within two public institutions arranged the quick acceptance of the documents for awarded contracts and the early payment of invoices, while asking bribes in exchange such speedy actions, for the administration heads, including the mayor.

DNA mentioned that Oprescu received 25,000 euros on Saturday under an agreement to get a total of 60,000 euros in bribe

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