A former Romanian mayor who once wore a Nazi uniform during a fashion show has been sentenced to five years in prison for taking 8 million euros in bribes in a real estate case.
The High Court of Cassation and Justice sentencing of Radu Mazare was lower that a sentence of nearly ten years handed by a lower court in 2019. Thursday’s sentence was also for abuse of office.
Mr Mazare, 53, is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for abuse of power in the sale of land in an upscale seaside resort.
He sensationally fled the country to Madagascar in 2017 to avoid trial but was repatriated in 2019.
In 2009, he caused outrage when he wore a Nazi uniform during a fashion show. Jewish organizations called for him to resign and face a criminal investigation. He apologized and said he hadn’t seen a Nazi swastika symbol on the uniform.
Thursday’s sentence was lower than than the lower court sentence as he was acquitted of some of the charges in the case.
His associate, businessman Sorin Gabriel Strutinsky, was also sentenced to five years for being an accomplice in bribery.
Prosecutors investigating the case said that from 2006 – 2009 Radu Mazăre aided by Mr Strutinsky demanded two million euros in bribes from two companies. He received one million euros and 2.5 million lei (about half a million euros) according to the indictment.
In exchange, he used his position as mayor to issue urbanism permits they needed to develop their commercial real estate projects.
Mr. Mazăre was also charged with receiving more than seven million euros from 2008 to 2014, aided by Strutinsky, from Polaris M Holding, the real estate company, owned by Eduard Martin.
For that, he awarded a 25-year contract to the company for sanitation services in the city. The contract price was increased by an unjustified 10 million in an addendum.
Mr Martin was acquitted. Mr Mazare, a former journalist, was mayor of Constanta from 2000 to 2015.
Former Romanian mayor, 12 others detained over supermarket fraud