Mayor of Bucharest arrested over ‘bribes’

The mayor of Romania’s capital, Sorin Oprescu, has been arrested at home in an investigation into allegations of taking bribes.
Now serving his second term as Bucharest mayor, Mr Oprescu is accused of taking kickbacks from companies awarded contracts with the city.
Prosecutors allege he took a 10% cut from deals. He denies any wrongdoing.
It is the latest of several corruption scandals to engulf top political figures in Romania.
Mr Oprescu, 63, who is backed by Romania’s governing Social Democrats, was taken into custody for an initial 24 hours.
Prosecutors will ask a court to extend this for a month while investigations continue.
Companies which won public works contracts kept up to 33% of the gross profit, prosecutors said in a statement.
“The rest was given as bribes to employees of the Bucharest mayor, with 10% of the contracts’ value requested by the accused Sorin Oprescu.”
The mayor was caught accepting a bribe from people who became informants, prosecutors allege.
His lawyer, Alexandru Chiciu, said his client had “never asked for money from anybody, directly or indirectly”.

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