Oprescu’s indicter says the former mayor got a EUR 1 M bribe in two years
Former Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu would have received the bribe of EUR 1 M at his place, according to his indicter Bogdan Popa, former head of the Cemeteries Administration, who told magistrates during Monday’s hearings at the Bucharest Tribunal that he had got EUR 400,000 from the owners of some companies to give them public contracts and that he had brought about EUR 1 M to Oprescu “in the field”, meaning to his house in Ciolpani commune, Ilfov county.
According to News.ro, Bogdan Popa admitted all charges, opting for the simplified proceeding during his trial. Popa was director of the Brancovenesti Palace since 2010 to 2013 and then head of the Cemeteries Administration from 2013 to 2015.
Popa also explained the structure of the bribe: 33% went to the indicters in this case, the rest of 67% was divided as such: 45% went to Sorin Oprescu, 10% to Mircea Octavian Constantinescu, former director of the Economic Department of the Bucharest City Hall, and 12% to him.
The ex-head of the Cemeteries Administration recounted that in 2012 the city hall’s environment director, Oana Grigore suggested him to ask money from the contractors for the mayor and that she had confirmed him that when money raised, Popa should contact Grigore to inform Oprescu.
Popa also said that in 2013 he went to Ciolpani four or five times, since April to August in order to bring the bribe to Oprescu, together with Romeo Albu, who used to cash in the money in the national currency from the constructors, exchanged them in euros and took them by car at Ciolpani. “EUR 50,000 every time,” the former director added.
When the judge asked Popa if Oprescu had asked him the bribe directly, he confirmed that Oprescu did that starting 2014, while in 2013 he used to ask him “when will we see each other in the field?”
Popa said that after he had been relocated to the Cemeteries Administration, he drafted the budgets, talked to the indicters, while the mayor has asked him to continue works with the same companies, for “these guys know the ropes”.
“Their suggestion was to make the deal with Delta construct and the Green Line company would provide the outsourcing. We set the contracts with the representatives of the companies and related to the fence of the Mogosoaia domain and the Bibescu tomb, we established the bribe of RON 11 M,” the former director revealed.
Asked if he has been threatened by anyone to make the denouncement, Popa said that he had not been threatened. “I was an asshole. It was not the lady prosecutor who made me say that,” he added.
Also questioned who was the leader of this organized group, Popa admitted it was him in the beginning, but that the group “could not have been established without Constantinescu and Oprescu.”
Popa also disclosed that he used to meet the economic director of the city hall, Constantinescu, at some garden, Constantinescu used to put a fanny pack on the table and Popa used to put the money in it.
The former head of the penitentiaries also talked about Oprescu’s former chauffeur, Cristian Stanca, aka Grenada (Grenade), who used to change the cars and checked if he is tracked down when taking the bribe to Oprescu.
The judge wanted to know how the money was given at Oprescu’s place. Popa told her that he used to enter the living, leave the phones on a plate, while the money was put in a gift bag that was left under a cushion of the couch.
Popa also described the day when the mayor was caught red-handed after he had brought the money to Oprescu. The former mayor is charged of taking a bribe of EUR 25,000 from Popa that day. “When I brought the money, I usually said the sum and their origin, he never checked them and just said thank you. After 2013 we were like brothers. Until then, he was quite cold, with no confidence,” Popa stated, who also revealed that the “Big Guy” mentioned in the wire-tapping was Sorin Oprescu.
Asked what he has received from the constructions companies that won contracts with the city hall, Popa said he had received four air conditioning devices and a fridge in 2015, all worth RON 100,000, “which were needed for the restaurant owned by his wife and Stanca’s wife.”
The former director also admitted that overall he cashed in EUR 400,000 in two years. “I spent it on vacations, a watch, all kind of stuff, and a part was seized,” Bogdan Popa said.
About the bribe given to the public servants in the Bucharest City Hall, Popa claimed that Sorin Oprescu must have received about EUR 1 M in two years, Mircea Octavian Constantinescu EUR 300,000 and Cristian Stanca EUR 300,000”.