Runaway PSD local leader Ionel Arsene, sentenced to prison for corruption, turns himself in

The President of the Neamț County Council, Ionel Arsene, who fled to Italy, surrendered on Monday, more than two weeks after the Brașov Court of Appeal sentenced him to six years and eight months in prison with execution, in a corruption case.

According to judicial sources cited by Adevărul, he surrendered to the police in Bari and would be taken to court for the preliminary proceedings regarding his extradition.

He was sentenced in a final ruling to six years and eight months in prison with execution on March 10, the decision being final.

Arsene was put under an APB by the Romanian Police, as he was not found by the police for the execution of the warrant.

On the website of the Romanian Police, in the “Most Wanted” section, the photo of Ionel Arsene was posted, with the mention that there is a warrant for the execution of the prison sentence in his name, for influence peddling and taking and giving bribes. He would have fled the country before the court’s final ruling.

Last year, in the first instance, Ionel Arsene received, in Bacău, a sentence of 8 years and 4 months in prison for influence peddling. Ionel Arsene was sent to court by the DNA in 2018, being accused that during 2013, as a deputy and president of the PSD Neamț organization, he received from a person (witness in the case) the sum of 100,000 euros in order to use the influence that he let himself be believed to have over some people in the management of the National Integrity Agency, in order to establish non-compliance with the legal provisions regarding the conflict of interests and the incompatibilities regime in the case of a person who, at that time time, he had a leadership position in the local administration.

The anti-corruption prosecutors claim that the money handed over by the witness in a restaurant in Bucharest should have reached the respective persons through intermediaries.

Ionel Arsene has been president of Neamt County Council since 2013. He is known as one of the Social Democratic most influential local barons and Liviu Dragnea’s right-hand man.

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