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Bucharest
May 14, 2021
JUSTICE

Former Bucharest District 2 Mayor Neculai Ontanu remains under arrest

High Court of Justice (ICCJ) magistrates decided on Wednesday that Neculai Ontanu, the former mayor of Bucharest’s District 2, will remain under arrest. The decision is final.

ICCJ magistrates decided on Wednesday that ex-mayor Neculai Ontanu should remain under arrest. The decision is final.

Former Bucharest District 2 Mayor Neculai Ontanu was indicted for passive bribery on June 11, while under pre-trial arrest, alongside lawyer Loredana Radu, under house arrest, and two other persons. The case will be handled by the Bucharest Court of Appeals.

Lawyer Loeradana Radu was indicted for complicity to passive bribery and money laundering. Toma Sutru, secretary of the District’s Local Council at the time the alleged crimes were committed, was indicted for passive bribery and money laundering, while Aurel Radu was indicted for complicity to passive bribery and money laundering.

According to the DNA, “in his capacity as Bucharest District 2 Mayor, from 2006 to 2007, Neculai Ontanu accepted the promise of material benefits from the holder of litigation rights (the denouncer in the case), in return for easing the procedure of retrocession of ownership rights, in line with Law no.18/1991, over several plots of land located in District 2 and totalling a surface area of 83,500 square metres. During the same period, defendant Ontanu Neculai asked for and, after the ownership title was issued, indirectly received a plot of land with a total surface area of 1,500 square metres, with a market value estimated at EUR 1.44 M (located on Barbu Vacarescu Street in District 2, a residential area). The property was transferred by the denouncer, free of charge, through fictitious purchase contracts, to two intermediaries that the defendant named. The two intermediaries were defendants Radu Loredana and Radu Aurel,” a press release reads.

On 17 December 2008, in order to hide the fact that the asset represented criminal proceeds and the identity of its final beneficiary, Loredana Radu ceded the ownership right over the 1,000-square metre plot of land to a relative who was also close to Mayor Ontanu Neculai, through a transaction in which the price was approximately 5 times lower than the asset’s market value, anticorruption prosecutors point out.

In what concerns Toma Sutru, secretary of the District 2 Mayoralty, prosecutors state that “in 2007-2008, in order to ease the procedure of retroceding the ownership right over the plot of land claimed by the denouncer, he demanded and received from the latter the sum of EUR 2 M.”

The DNA informs that levies have been placed upon assets as part of this case: “on the 1,000-square metre plot of land located on Barbu Vacarescu Street (ceded by Radu Loredana-Claudia to one of her relatives), on Radu Aurel’s assets up to the sum of EUR 1.4 M, on the sums of money that Sutru Toma transferred to his relatives, as well as on the revenues obtained following the investments made using these sums.”

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