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Bucharest
September 26, 2021
JUSTICE

DNA prosecutors found at Sorin Oprescu’s home two bags of 71,000 lei the mayor had ‘forgotten’ about

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors found at Sorin Oprescu’s home in Ciolpani two bags, one containing 31,050 lei and the other one 40,000 lei the mayor claims to have ‘forgotten’ about and to represent the savings and retirement benefits of his father, who died five years ago. However, the investigators doubt that, as no banknotes in the old ROL denomination were found.
In the arguments supporting the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal to keep the measure of preventive arrest for Oprescu it is said that that the domiciliary search report regarding the property in Ciolpani indicates the investigators found upstairs (where Oprescu’s father lived during his last years, until his death in 2010), in a brown canvas bag 31,050 lei – 295 banknotes of 50 lei each, 54 banknotes of 200 lei each, 9 banknotes of 500 lei each, 10 banknotes of 100 lei each, as well as 40,000 lei – 400 banknotes of 50 lei each and 200 banknotes of 100 lei each, in a blue synthetic fabric bag with a plastic stud, according to Agerpres.
Sorin Oprescu said the money represented his father’s savings and retirement benefits during 10 years.
The judges with the Bucharest Court of Appeal point out that the father died in 2010 and, on 1 July 2005, the national Romanian currency, leu, was denominated, so that one new leu equalled 10,000 old lei, but ‘no old denomination banknotes were found during the domiciliary search’.
‘The new series of banknotes including the two new values – 200 lei and 500 lei – was issued also after 2005. The inconsistencies in the defendant’s statement included in the search report will also be analysed at a future stage of the criminal trial, according to the balance of probabilities, in view of ordering the measure of special or extended confiscation, as the case may be.
At this point in the criminal trial, the Court will consider that these are ways of concealing the proceeds of other possible criminal offences, an aspect that will weigh in the assessment of the need to take the most drastic prevention measure for the smooth unfolding of the criminal trial’, the Court notes.
In the courtroom, Sorin Oprescu said that, when his father had passed away, in 2010, he had inherited 145,000 USD which he mentioned in his financial disclosure form.
‘In front of the freedoms of rights judge, the defendant noted that, when his father had died, in 2010, he inherited 145,000 USD, which he mentioned in his financial disclosure form. The defendant said he had found the money left by his father at Ciolpani, on the upper floor of the residence, that, initially, he had forgotten about it but that he had remembered on the occasion of the search. The defendant noted that the money was in a cabinet and that he entered that room in order to take his hunting riffles to be cleaned as the law requires, but that he had forgotten about that money, because it had been saved by his father. He said the money was not included in his financial disclosure form, that he had not completed the succession procedures because, although he knew about the funds when the father dies, afterwards he forgot about them’, the motivation further reads.
Oprescu also told the Court that the 145,000 USD in his financial disclosure form had never been deposited in a bank because his 87-year old father was physically unable to visit a bank.
In the end, the mayor noted that he had found the 145,000 USD a few days after his father’s death and, after talking to his brother, decided to mention the sum in his financial disclosure form. He also said that the money that was found during the house search had not been mentioned in the financial disclosure form because he ‘simply forgot about it’.


Oprescu taken to hospital after feeling unwell

The suspended Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, was taken to hospital Monday evening, from the Bucharest Police arrest facilities, after complaining about ‘a state of weakness’. After a brief medical evaluation he was brought back to the Police lockups’, Police sources told Mediafax.
The same sources say Sorin Oprescu, who has diabetes, complained about ‘a state of weakness’ and the Police doctors recommended he should be taken to hospital.
The suspended mayor of the capital city was taken to hospital by the police van. After a brief medical assessment, he was brought back to the Bucharest Police lockups.
Medical sources told Mediafax that Sorin Oprescu had been taken to the ‘Sfantul Ioan’ Hospital because he was complaining about chest pain and the doctors suspected a myocardial infarction. He went through a series of investigations that removed the infarction suspicion and then he was taken back to the Bucharest Police arrest facilities, the quoted sources also said.
Viorel Mocanu, one of Sorin Oprescu’s lawyers, said he had learnt by chance that his client had been taken to hospital, when he had visited the Bucharest Police arrest facilities as he does every day, to talk to his client. The lawyer said he had been told that Sorin Oprescu had been transported, at 17:10, to a hospital in Bucharest, without being told which.
Viorel Mocanu added that it was not normal for a member of the family or lawyers not be let know that a person under arrest had a medical problem.
Another lawyer of the mayor’s, Alexandru Chiciu, said, after being asked about his client’s health condition and if he had felt unwell in court, on the night of his arrest, that the mayor was insulin-dependent and had health issues that were well-known, but stressed that the defence would not invoke the medical problems because that was ‘Sorin Opresecu’s wish’.
The Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, was arrested in 6 September by the order of the Bucharest Tribunal, on the request of the National Anticorruption Directorate that had charged him with taking bribe.


Elena Udrea regarding Oprescu in prison: ‘He doesn’t stand a chance’

Ex-Minister Elena Udrea said on Tuesday that Sorin Oprescu would have a difficult time coping under preventive arrest, where someone who is sick doesn’t stand a chance, noting that arrest and prison, given the existing conditions, could be regarded as means of physical and mental torture.
Asked to comment on the fact that the suspended Mayor of Bucharest. Sorin Oprescu, had felt unwell and had to be taken to hospital on Monday, Elena Udrea said: ‘Oprescu will have a very difficult time coping’.
‘Certainly, the arrest and prison in Romania, given the existing conditions, could be considered as means of physical and mental torture. There, a chronic patient doesn’t stand a chance. Even if you enter in good health, you come out with major health issues’, said Elena Udrea, in front of the Police station where she must report twice a week under her probation plan.
Elena Udrea added she didn’t understand why Sorin Oprescu could not be free during the investigations or placed under house arrest. If the investigators fear he may influence the course of the investigation – she said – they should prohibit him from making contact with the witnesses in the case.
‘I don’t understand why he cannot be investigated at large, on house arrest or on probation, as I imagine Mr. Oprescu is does not pose a threat to the society. The preventive arrest has become the rule here, although we have African conditions – this is what the Committee against Torture said after visiting Romania, who couldn’t believe the conditions in Romanian arrest facilities and penitentiaries. When you know the conditions are what they are, one should think many times if you really want to place people under arrest as long as you have other options available. Nothing will change, in my opinion, before someone dies under arrest or in orison’, Udrea said.

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