Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu was detained for 24 hours by the DNA prosecutors, being accused of bribe taking, digi24.ro informs.
The Prosecutors with the National Anticorruption Directorate – Department of Combating Corruption have ordered the start of criminal proceedings and remand for 24 hours, on 06.09.2015, at 00.33h, until 07.09.2015, at 00.33h of Sorin Oprescu, Mayor of Bucharest, on the offense of bribe taking.
In prosecutors’ order shows that in this file, there are data and clues that lead to reasonable suspicion that outlines the following facts:
“During 2013-2015, a well organized group, joined by defendant Sorin Oprescu, has set up in the local administration of Bucharest a system whereby companies wishing to receive contracts from public institutions subordinated to the city mayor had to remit part of the gross profit resulted from the implementation of those agreements to the decision makers with the Bucharest City Hall.
The city hall official kept to himself between 30% and 33% of the gross profit and the difference was delivered to the civil servants with the Bucharest City Hall, by way of bribes, a percentage of 10% of the contract’s value being asked by defendant Oprescu Sorin Mircea.
Specifically, the members of the organized group, persons responsible for the management of two public institutions subordinated to the Bucharest City Hall, were facilitating the winning of the contract, they spoke to the subordinated employees to accept the tender documents and to approve and order the payment of invoices issued by the respective companies, very quickly following the date of invoicing, also requesting money for the people representing the management of Bucharest City Hall and for the Mayor.
On September 5, 2015, based on a preliminary agreement with a director of a subordinated public institution and with a close person of the mayor, the defendant Oprescu Sorin Mircea has received the first tranche of EUR 25,000 out of a total of EUR 60,000 claimed for the Bucharest mayor by the two from four denouncers.”
In this file, the prosecutors are supported the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
Sorin Oprescu was informed about the charges, and is expected to be presented on September 6, 2015 to the Bucharest Court for preventive arrest for 30 days,” a DNA release informs.
On Sunday, prosecutors were conducting searches in several places in Bucharest, Bacau, Calarasi and Ilfov, including at Oprescu’s house in Ciolpani, at the Bucharest City Hall, the Cemeteries Administration and at “Brancovenesti Palaces” Cultural Center.
According to his latest wealth statement, Mayor Sorin Oprescu owns two plots of land within incorporated area in Ciolpani and Predeal, a villa and an apartment, as well as art and cult objects and jewelry worth EUR 91,000. Oprescu also has RON 156,000 and EUR 33,000 in his bank accounts.
Deputy Bucharest Mayor Pieptea: Oprescu’s mandate is suspended if preventive arrest is approved
The mandate of Bucharest’s General Mayor Sorin Oprescu will be suspended if the measure of preventive arrest is disposed in his case, said on Sunday for Agerpres Deputy Mayor of Bucharest Cornel Pieptea.
“The General Mayor, Sorin Oprescu, was remanded for 24 hours, after these 24 hours the judiciary will have a decision. The judiciary must be left to work independently. If the mayor is released and he will be able to exercise his work prerogatives he will return to the City Hall. In case preventive arrest is disposed, in accordance with Law no. 215/2001, the Law for local public administration, the mayor’s mandate is suspended,” said Cornel Pieptea.
According to him, this administrative act is issued by the Prefect of the City of Bucharest. “After that the General Council will choose from one of the two deputy mayors currently in office to take over the prerogatives of the general mayor. If the decision is to release him and the mayor is considered innocent, he will return and will resume the position he has currently,” said the Deputy Mayor of the Capital.
In his opinion, Sorin Oprescu no longer has the legitimacy to occupy the position of Bucharest Mayor. “I believe the mayor once remanded for 24 hours no longer has the legitimacy to occupy this representative position of Bucharest and no longer has the strength to lead such a big City Hall. Let us not forget that the Bucharest City Hall, which has a budget of nearly 1 billion euro, serves 2 million residents,” Pieptea added.