Romania arrests organized crime chief prosecutor over corruption

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BUCHAREST: Romania’s chief prosecutor tasked with investigating organised crime and terrorism was on Saturday arrested on corruption charges over a real estate deal alleged to have cost the government over 60 million euros ($75 million), local media reported.

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The country’s Supreme Court ordered Alina Bica to be remanded in custody for 30 days over the 2011 case.

Anti-corruption investigators allege that Bica, as a member of a commission charged with returning property seized by the former Communist regime, knowingly approved a compensation package for land that was strongly overvalued.

The government is estimated to have lost 62.5 million euros in the deal.

The person who carried out the evaluation and two other members of the commission have also been detained.

Prosecutor General Tiberiu Nitu will take over Bica’s duties at Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime (DIICOT) for now.

Romania has committed itself to stamping out corruption since it joined the European Union in 2007, with Brussels closely monitoring its progress.

In a sign of outrage over rampant graft in their country, Romanians last week unexpectedly elected Klaus Iohannis as their new president, a mayor who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform.

AFP

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