JUSTICE

Sorin Oprescu placed on house arrest. Suspended Bucharest mayor will wear monitoring device

The suspended Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, will be placed on house arrest, the Bucharest Court of Appeal has decided. The mayor will wear a monitoring device. Sorin Oprescu had spent 54 days behind bars until the judges decided to change the preventive measure with a less severe one.

Sorin Oprescu tried to get out several times without success until now, when he is to be placed on house arrest. The Bucharest Court of Appeal decided to grant his release request.

Sorin Oprescu may not leave his home except with the consent of the investigators and policemen. The suspended mayor of the Capital will wear a surveillance device. Lawyer Lucian Bolcas says the monitoring device ‘can be diverse: an electronic bracelet or a video camera’.

After seven weeks under arrest, Oprescu appeared in court again and said he needed detailed tests especially following the latest cancer suspicions. His layers however had a rather daunting task: the first judges who declined the mayor’s request said there were NO official documents to show that Oprescu could not be treated under arrest.

On Monday, the criminal investigation was expanded in Sorin Oprescu’s case to include money laundering and abuse of office.
After the investigations had been expanded on Monday also in the case of one of Oprescu’s main denunciators, the Cemetery Administration head Bogdan Popa, he refused to say anything to the prosecutors, according to judicial sources quoted by ‘Romania libera’.

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) investigators informed Bogdan Cornel Popa of the fact that they were expending investigations in his case to include the charge of setting up an organised criminal group, abuse of office, money laundering and three offences of performance of operations incompatible with the office.
In this context, the denunciator of Sorin Oprescu refused to talk to the investigators on the new facts discovered and chose to use the right to remain silent.

Sorin Oprescu was placed on remand on 7 September for an alleged bribery of EUR 25,000. According to DNA, from 2013 to 2015, an organised group which he joined set up at the Bucharest Municipality a system whereby economic operators who wanted to get various public contracts had to surrender part of the gross profit.

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