JUSTICE POLITICS

Suspended Bucharest City Mayor Oprescu to stay under pre-trial detention

The Bucharest Tribunal on Wednesday ruled that suspended Bucharest City General Mayor Sorin Oprescu will remain under pre-trial detention in relation to a bribe-taking case.

The tribunal dismissed Oprescu’s request for detention to be replaced with a more lenient punishment, either court supervision or house arrest.

The decision is not final, and Oprescu can appeal it.

Sorin Oprescu was placed under pre-trial detention on September 7, having since faced several health scares that necessitated four days of hospitalisation at the Bucharest Emergency University Hospital for further medical investigations. Oprescu also went to a private medical centre in Fundeni for a PET scan.

He submitted a complaint to the Health Ministry, calling on the minister to inquire in the medical treatment extended to him at the Bucharest City Detention Centre. In the complaint filed by his lawyers, Oprescu was calling on Health Minister Nicolae Baniciou to check whether or not his right to healthcare is observed, because when at the detention centre he allegedly did not receive adequate treatment.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) says that in 2013-2015, a well organised ring, which Oprescu also joined, created inside the Bucharest public administration a system whereby business operators wanting to win contracts from public bodies operating under the authority of the mayor had to remit part of the gross profit from carrying out the contracts to decision makers in the mayor’s apparatus as bribe.

On September 5, Oprescu received at his home at Ciolpani 25,000 euros from his subordinate Bogdan Popa, director of the Brancovenesti Palaces Culture Centre, with DNA claiming that the money came from corruption offences.

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