A court has handed a former district mayor of Bucharest a prison sentence of almost 12 years for bribes and money laundering worth 30 million euros.
The Bucharest Court sentenced Marian Vanghelie to 11 years and 8 months on Thursday in the case after a trial that started in 2015. The ruling can be appealed.
Judges ordered the former mayor to pay 15 million euros in damages.
Mr Vanghelie, 53, was sent to trial for 26 corruption offenses, together with the manager of the Economat supermarket chain and two others.
The populist Vanghelie played on his working-class background to appeal to voters. He was mayor of the low-income Bucharest 5th district from 2000 to 2016.
The total damage to Bucharest district town hall was in excess of 60 million euros, of which 30 million euros was the former mayor’s bribes and money laundering, prosecutors said.
They said that between 2006 and 2014, the defendant aided by his cousin, a businessman, and Economat manger Laura Ciocan, requested and received from the defendant Marin Dumitru bribes worth about 30.4 million euros. The sum represented 20% of contracts handed out by the town hall.
The district 5 town hall established Economat, a supermarket with affordable prices in 2002. It was an initiative aimed to help consumers in one of the poorest districts of the capital.
Prosecutors said the ex-mayor broke acquisition rules and handed out public procurement contracts to the defendant. They said the former mayor gave contracts to companies which is owned or had a stake in.
Many of the contracts were not economically justified. He also allegedly financed electoral campaigns with city hall funds and other public events that were organized to raise support for the mayor.
Another three people were sentenced to between 3 to 8 years in prison.