Fugitive Romanian prince detained in Malta after corruption conviction

Prince Paul-Philippe of Romania faces a three-year jail term for corruption in Romania.

Romania’s Prince Paul who is wanted for a three-year prison sentence for a fraudulent real estate deal has been detained in Malta and appeared in court to fight an extradition request.

He was arrested on Sunday while visiting the country for an event organized by the Knights of Malta, the Times of Malta reported.

Paul also known as Paul Lambrino fled Romania in 2020 when he was convicted and sentenced to 3 years and 4 months  in prison for corruption related to the illegal restitution of real estate near Bucharest, to which he falsely claimed ownership.

The 75-year-old was arrested in Malta on a European Arrest Warrant and taken to court on Monday, where he was denied bail due to the seriousness of the charges against him.

He was accompanied by his wife Lia and gave his profession as a „member of royal family”and said that he was residing in Paris. He objected to the extradition request.

His lawyer Jason Azzopardi told the court he had been in Malta for an event organized by the Knights of Malta and was “humiliated in front of dignitaries from all over Europe” during his arrest on Sunday evening, the Times reported.

The prosecution presented a fingerprints sample sent by the Romanian authorities along with a photo of the wanted man to prove the arrested man was the prince.

Lawyer Azzopardi said that the prince understands what he is wanted for but although documents said so at face value, „that document was politically motivated.”

In June 2022, Paul was detained on a Paris street but the Paris Court of Appeals refused to extradite him to Romania concluding that there was systematic failure of the system in Romania.

He was accused of having worked with a criminal gang between 2006 and 2013 to recover properties he claimed as heir to the Romanian royal family, including the Snagov forest and the Baneasa farm.

A total of 18 people were convicted in the same case. Prosecutors, who said that Lambrino had no right to the properties, estimated that the damage made to the state was about 145 million euros.

Lambrino’s father Carol Mircea Grigore fought hard to be recognized as the legitimate heir to Carol II, who ruled from 1930 to 1940 before abdicating to his son Michel I.” Lambrino’s father was considered illegitimate.

He is not recognised as a member of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen nor the Royal House of Romania. He is also known as Paul-Philippe Hohenzollern.

Romania became a republic after the communists came to power and Michael was forced to abdicate in 1947. The royal family’s properties were confiscated.

France to decide on extraditing Paul of Romania after corruption conviction


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