How much does the Romanian state pay to bring some of the fugitive convicts into the country?

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Last year alone, the Romanian state paid approximately two million euros to bring some of the fugitive convicts to the country, the costs being calculated for less than 600 missions organized in 2023 by the Ministry of the Interior to bring fugitives to Romania. The figures can be found in the draft law initiated by the Ministry of Justice which stipulates that these expenses should be borne by the person who is extradited after fleeing the country to escape conviction. According to the Minister of Justice, the expenses borne by the state for such a procedure vary between several thousand euros and 25,000 euros.

The Ministry of Justice put into public debate on Tuesday the draft bill to supplement Law 302/2004 on international judicial cooperation in criminal matters by which fugitives will be obliged to pay the costs of bringing them to Romania. In article 16 of Law no. 302/2004 regarding international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, republished in the Official Gazette, Part I no. 411 of May 27, 2019, with subsequent amendments and additions, two paragraphs are inserted after paragraph (5), para. (6)-(7), with the following contents:

“(6): The expenses that fall to the Romanian state in the event that the requested person evaded criminal prosecution or judgment will be taken into account when establishing judicial expenses by the enforcement court, according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(7): In order to recover the expenses caused by bringing to the country the requested person who evaded the execution of the sentence, the Romanian authorities have the right of recourse, to the competent civil court. This case is judged expeditiously and is exempt from stamp duty”.

In order to hand over/take over these people, in 2023 alone, 587 missions were organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the competent institution for bringing into the country people fleeing to escape prison.

The fugitives are brought to the country by air or land and only in 2023, an approximate amount of 10,025,000 lei, i.e. around two million euros, was spent from the Romanian state budget, according to the draft law reasoning.

The Minister of Justice, Alina Gorghiu, declared on Tuesday, in a press conference, that the cost per fugitive varies between several thousand euros and 25,000 euros, money that is now given by the state, while the phenomenon of fugitives has been increasing since from year to year. “We can talk about cases of fugitives in which the costs for bringing them to the country are relatively low, but we can also talk about cases of fugitives brought from the end of the world, which involve very, very high costs. (…) For a fugitive brought by land, from a neighboring country, the costs are lower, for the fugitives we brought from Madagascar, the costs were very high. If you had money to run to Madagascar, you can certainly find money to bear the expenses of bringing him to the country”, said Gorghiu, adding that in the case of such an air mission, at least two police officers are involved.

She explained that “the draft bill covers the two situations, so that for the fugitives who escape during the criminal investigation and the trial, the expenses of bringing them to the country will be added to the other expenses related to the trial, expertise, the lawyer’s fee, and in the case of those who run away after being sentenced, the expenses of bringing them can be recovered through a separate, civil way”.

Famous Romanian fugitive convicts were Sebastian Ghita, businessman, allegedly fled to Serbia, ex-Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu, fled to Greece. Others fled to Italy, such as the former Social Democrat Neamt leader Ionel Arsene, former intelligence officer Daniel Dragomir, businessman Dragos Savulescu, football leader’s son Mario Iorgulescu, former DIICOT chief Alina Bica, former MEP Marian Zlotea.

Among the latest additions to the list is the former mayor of Baia Mare Cătălin Cherecheș, who managed to flee the country a few hours before he was definitively sentenced to 5 years in prison with execution for bribery. At this moment, Cătălin Chereches is incarcerated in a penitentiary in Germany, awaiting extradition procedures. He refused to give his consent for simplified extradition, and his lawyers are trying to prevent, through extraordinary means of attack, the bringing of the former mayor to the country.

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1 Comment
  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    Be ruthless Romania. Bring them all back as much as it takes and costs. This will give the new generation second thoughts on any funny ideas they have.

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