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May 17, 2021

Suspended mayor of Iasi in preventive arrest, businessman Urdareanu in house arrest in same case

The Bucharest Court has, on Friday, admitted the request by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) of 30-day preventive arrest for the suspended mayor of Iasi, Gheorghe Nichita, charged with bribery.

In the same case, the court has decided that businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu will be placed in house arrest.

The decision is not final, yet it is enforceable, so that Gheorghe Nichita is to be placed in Bucharest Police custody.

The DNA prosecutors have given up on asking for the preventive arrest of Urdareanu, the owner of the UTI group of companies, and asked the Court his house arrest, after the latter pleaded guilty.

In the case, the prosecutors have decided on the measure of judicial control against Iulius Gabriel Mardarasevici, director with the SC Information Business Consulting SRL (IBC), and the judicial control against Mihail Tanasescu, vice-chairman of the UTI group of companies.

Iulius Mardarasevici too has pleaded guilty.

According to the DNA, in August 2013, on the occasion of the implementation of the ‘Traffic Management System in the City of Iasi’s project, that was about the streamlining of the road and passers-by traffic, as well as about the decrease of the pollution degree, with European funding, Gheorghe Nichita, in his Iasi mayor capacity asked for and received from the other culprits several undue benefits in order to agree the auction’s win by the UTI – IBC association and the signing of the respective contract, worth 69,614,309 lei (without the VAT), as well as to guarantee the contract’s development in good conditions.

The investigators say that starting with August 2013, Mardarasevici has given Nichita the following undue benefits: money; 30-40pct discounts of the prices of some hotel accommodations at the Marriot Hotel of Bucharest, over 2013-2015, based on the reservations made by SC IBC SRL (approx.15,100 lei); the payment during 2014 of the accommodation services of a visit to China, of which Nichita, other employees of the City hall, as well as businesspersons have benefited; benefits consisting of purchasing some electronic equipment in January – February 2014 for Nichita, worth 20,.000 lei.

Likewise, in 2013, Tiberiu Urdareanu, as chairman of the UTI Group board, at the demand of Nichita has accepted to give the latter, through the IBC company, 10pct of the value of the contract, namely 6.9 million lei. The sum was to be granted as ratio to the rate of participation of the UTI and IBC associates in the contract, meaning 80pct was ‘the contribution’ of UTI, and 20pct was the IBC ‘contribution’ to the money collected as bribe for Nichita.

The initial understanding was sealed among Nichita, Mardarasevici (for the IBC) and Urdareanu (for the UTI), the last two, with the help of Mihai Tanasescu, making fraudulent approaches to collect the money that was to be given as bribe.

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