Former Constanta mayor, Radu Mazare, under judicial control, flees Romania to Madagascar, asks for political asylum

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Former Mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazare, had fled to Madagascar where he is trying to obtain political asylum. Romanian Police informed on Saturday that Mazare did not show up to the Constanta Police Station according to the judicial control. Contacted by police, the former mayor of Constanta said he is in Madagascar, taking steps to get political asylum.

Radu Mazare left Romania on Christmas Day at 13:00h with a flight to Paris from Otopeni Airport, hotnews.ro reports.

Romanian police says that “the measure of judicial control in the case of Radu Mazare did not ban him to leave the country, and during the entire period of the preventive measure of the judicial control the police did not find any violations of the obligations.”

According to the procedure, Constanta Police reported the development to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court, our note).

Radu Mazare, mayor of Constanta for three terms, is known for his exotic holidays in Brazil and Madagascar.

In 2012, as mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazare announced on his return from a holiday in Madagascar that he had leased from a tribe 1.8 hectares of land on the ocean, a golf in northern Madagascar, over a period of 99 years, for which he reportedly paid EUR 1 per square meter. He then said he wanted to build there a complex for water sports enthusiasts.

In November 2016, the former mayor of Constanta spoke to the magistrates of the Supreme Court at one of the hearings in the lawsuit regarding the financing of ‘Henri Coanda social district’, about his real estate investments in Brazil and Madagascar, with businessman Elan Schwartzenberg’s money. He spoke about two plots of land in Brazil, bought in 2007 and 2008, and about two hectares in a tourist area in Madagascar. On the Madagascar land, the Mantasaly resort was built, consisting of 16 bungalows on the beach, restaurant, bar-lounge, spa and shop.

In July of this year, Radu Mazare was sentenced by the Bucharest Court of Appeals to four years suspended jail sentence in the file of illegal land retrocession in Mamaia resort, but the ruling is not final. In this file were indicted former employees of the City Hall or former local councillors. The court has decided to acquit 26 of the defendants and the others had suspended jail sentences. In this file, Radu Mazare was prosecuted by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on October 28, 2008, along with 36 people, including former and current officials with the Constanta City Hall and the Cadastre Office and notaries, for the illegal assignment of large areas of urban land in the city of Constanta, Mamaia, the beach and the seafront. The damage in this case was estimated by the DNA at about EUR 114 million.

Prosecuted in several files

Radu Mazare is also prosecuted in other files, these being the first instance court. At the Supreme Court is tried in a case where the former mayor of Constanta is charged of having received EUR 8 million and over RON 8 million from representatives of some companies to facilitate the issuance of documents and to facilitate the winning of an auction or the conclusion of contracts. In this file are prosecuted former PSD deputy Eduard Martin, shareholder at SC Polaris M Holding SRL, and several Constanta City Hall officials, as well as businessman Sorin Strutinsky.

He is also prosecuted to the Supreme Court, together with his brother, former senator Alexandru Mazare and businessman Avraham Morgenstern, in the file on the social campus ‘Henri Coanda’ in Constanta. According to the prosecutor’s indictment, Radu Mazare, as mayor of Constanta municipality, launched in early 2011 the program for the construction of modular dwellings grouped in the ‘Henri Coanda’ Social Campus, approved by a decision of the Constanta Local Council. In this context, Avraham Morgenstern allegedly had given Radu Mazare EUR 175,000 to help him win the tender for the contract to build the social campus, amounting to RON 40,964,030 VAT excluded (approx.  EUR 10 million).

Investigators say that out of the EUR 175,000, EUR 95,000 were transferred to Radu Mazare’s personal account and EUR 80,000 in the account of his brother, Senator Alexandru Mazare, both accounts were opened at a bank in Israel.

Radu Mazare is tried in the Constanta Court in another case of abuse of office, being accused by DNA prosecutors of having sold a plot of land in Mamaia at undervalued prices, thus leading to a prejudice of over EUR 3 million.

Madagascar, the country where Radu Mazare has asked for political asylum, was hit this year by a plague epidemic with 2,348 cases and 202 deaths, during August 1 and November 22, according to World Health Organization data. Epidemics of plague are common in Madagascar.

 

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