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Bucharest
April 16, 2021
JUSTICE

Klaus Iohannis loses house in downtown Sibiu. Court ruling is final

President Klaus Iohannis has lost a second house located in downtown Sibiu, following a final ruling issued by Brasov Court of Appeals magistrates, Romania TV informs. The Head of State had previously lost a house in the same area, following a similar trial.

The family of Mayor Klaus Iohannis has lost the building located on Nicolae Balcescu 29 Street. The court ruling comes after 16 years of trials in which courts in Sibiu, Alba, Brasov and Bucharest were involved, the local press informs.

The Brasov Court cancelled the building’s sale contract in 2014. The building was suspected of having been bought based on false documents. The ruling issued on Thursday in the appeal filed by the mayor’s family has upheld that decision.

According to the Brasov Court of Appeals ruling, the court decision attacked through the appeal (the decision adopted by the Brasov Court – editor’s note) has been upheld. The Court of Appeals admits “the exception of the tardiness of the reasons of the appeal filed on 03.09.2015, exception invoked by the summoned respondent (the Romanian State represented by the Finance Ministry’s Brasov Regional Finance Directorate and Brasov County Public Finance Administration), and consequently notes that the reasons of the appeal filed by Lazurca Georgeta, Johannis Carmen Georgeta and Johannis Klaus Werner on 03.09.2015, an appeal against civil court decision no.235/16.05.2014 issued by the Brasov Court, are null and void.

Admits the summoned respondent’s request to cancel the appeal filed by the Romanian State through the Sibiu Municipality, through the Mayor, for lack of proof of the Romanian State’s mandate of representation, request filed by the Romanian State, as summoned respondent, through the Finance Ministry’s Brasov Regional Finance Directorate and Brasov County Public Finance Administration and consequently: Cancels the appeal filed by the Romanian State, as summoned respondent, through the Sibiu Municipality, through the Mayor, against civil court decision no.235/16.05.2014 issued by the Brasov Court. Rejects the appeal filed by summoned respondents Lazurca Georgeta, Johannis Carmen Georgeta and Johannis Klaus Werner against civil court decision no.235/16.05.2014 adopted by the Brasov Court, which it upholds. Rejects the request to offer court expenses in the appeal, filed by plaintiff respondent Antonescu Elisabeta, Oarga Ioan, Oarga Steluta Ancuta, Oarga Ioan Adrian. Irrevocable,” the court ruling reads.

The final sentence issued by Brasov Court of Appeals magistrates concerns a house owned by the President in Sibiu’s historic district.
In recent years, the President rented out the house’s ground level to an Austrian bank and allegedly obtained a profit of hundreds of thousands of Euros as a result. Iohannis was involved for years in a legal battle with the family that claims it bought the house from the state, a house that was later nationalized.
The sum that Klaus Iohannis earned in the last 14 years by renting out that space to a large bank totals EUR 320,000, RiseProject journalists wrote in August. Money that the President’s family now has to pay back.

The story starts in 1991. Back then, Carmen Iohannis and her mother were included in the will of Nicolae Bastea, alongside the latter’s nephew. The two women inherited 50 per cent of a house and Ion Bastea, the nephew, inherited the other half.
Since that was a nationalized house, at the end of the 1990s the Iohannis and Bastea families sued the state. According to RiseProject, in court the two families presented documents according to which the deceased man was the rightful nephew of the person from whom the Romanian state had confiscated the house during the communist era.
The receipts used had been issued by the secretary of Porumbacu de Jos commune. Accused of issuing false documents, he was at one point sentenced to one year in prison, suspended sentence, Romania TV informs.

In 1999, Klaus Iohannis bought from Ioan Bastea his half of the house, renting it out to the bank. RiseProject journalists write that Iohannis paid ROL 50 M, namely USD 3,200, for his share of the house.

While the income from the contracts signed with the bank was filling the bank accounts of the Iohannis family, the lawsuits were registering numerous delays.
On the one hand, the two families asked the court to cancel the contracts through which the buyers of the apartments located in the two nationalized buildings became owners, on the other hand those living in the apartments asked for the inheritance to be cancelled, arguing that the documents presented by the heirs were false.

On June 18, 2015, after 16 years of legal battles, the court decided to cancel the ownership rights of Carmen Iohannis, her mother Georgeta Lazuca and Ioan Bastea.
President Klaus Iohannis previously owned a building in downtown Sibiu. Several years ago, the magistrates cancelled his ownership right through a final court decision. Back then, they established that the building was obtained based on documents that turned out to be false.

According to his wealth statement, the mayor of Sibiu owns 5 other houses: on Pedagogilor 14 (1997), on Somesului 13 (2001), on Balea 29 (1992), on Magura 9 (2007) and on Magura 11 (2007).

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