Former mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazăre, facing a final ruling of nine years in prison for corruption deeds, has been brought back in Romania from Madagascar, where he had fled, under Police escort, on Monday night.
The former mayor of Constanta has been escorted by the Police all the way from Madagascar to Bucharest, and to Rahova Penitentiary.
The move comes after the Madagascar authorities have admitted Romania’s request for extradition in the former mayor’s case.
The Romanian Police announced that Mazare had been turned over to the representatives of the Rahova Penitentiary and that the mission to bring him in the country had been conducted with no incidents.
The transfer between the Police escort and the escort of the National Administration of Penitentiaries has been made inside the Henri Coanda Airport. The aircraft with Mazare on board landed around 8.30 p.m. He got off the plane handcuffed.
Mazare flew from Madagascar to Paris first and from Paris to Bucharest. He had a window seat int he back of the plane and did not wear any handcuffs, but he was surrounded by four police officers for surveillance.
A passenger of the same flight told Digi24 that Mazare was OK during the flight “fixing a spot”.
The young woman recounted that the former mayor was stone-faced, looked very sad and fixed a spot to avoid visual contact with the other passengers who kept on staring at him. The woman also said Mazare had already been in the plane when the other passengers embarked and he got off the plane last at Otopeni.
During the four hours spent in the Paris airport, Radu Mazare was kept int he guardroom. His son and his lawyer had already file a request for political asylum in France, but the French authorities rejected the motion, as it had been filed before the former mayor of Constanta should even had reached the airport. However, he was not even on the French territory, but in the transit area.
The Romanian Police has announced on Monday morning that Radu Mazare is in their custody and that the return will take place on Monday.
“At this hour, the international fugitive, Radu Stefan Mazare, is in the Romanian Police’s custody. We remind you that the Romanian Police’s escort went to Madagascar to take over the fugitive and the return in Romania is to happen today,” reads a Police press release.
Later on, the chief of the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police, Ioan Buda stated there have been no problems in taking over Mazare, also dismissing rumours of escape. “At this moment he is in the Romanian police’s custody. There have been no difficulties”, Buda said.
Judicial sources told local media that the former mayor of Constanta will arrive in Romania on Monday evening, around 8 p.m. after the plane’s layover in Paris.
According to judiciary procedures, after he is brought in the country, Mazare must be imprisoned and quarantined for 21 days.
Radu Mazare has fled to Madagascar for more than one year and filed for asylum there, according to his lawyers.
However, Mazare’s brother, Mihai Mazare, had said on Sunday evening that the extradition would not have been legal for it had not been taken by a judge in Madagascar.
“Let’s not rush into anything, let’s see what happens at the airport on Monday. National law in Madagascar is in compliance with the international law and says that extraditions are made based on a judge’s ruling. Radu Mazare’s extradition has not been judged by any judge in Madagascar. If that doesn’t happen, it means there is an abuse in his extradition process“, Mazare’s brother told Antena 3.
Mazare’s brother has also announced that lawyers have notified the French authorities on an alleged abuse against the former mayor of Constanta.
Later on Monday, Mihai Mazare sent a message to those who enjoy now that Radu Mazare is brought in Romania to be imprisoned, saying he wants them enjoy of the same justice his brother had.
EC Representation to Romania’s Facebook posts hinting at Mazare
The European Commission Representation to Romania has posted on Facebook today that the European Union has imported 179,000 kilos of green beans/pea from Madagascar last year, hinting at the former mayor Radu Mazare (whose name in Romanian means pea/green beans) and to fact that he is going to be extradited from Madagascar today.
“In 2018, the European Union imported 179,000 kilograms of pea from Republic of Madagascar, with a total value mounting to over EUR 800,000“, reads the Facebook post, which is accompanied by a photo featuring pea.