Fugitive Romanian media boss caught in Serbia

The 38-year-old Sebastian Ghita had false Slovenian papers and was with his brother when he was caught, the Romanian interior ministry said.

Fugitive Romanian media boss caught in Serbia

World Bulletin / News Desk

A fugitive Romanian media mogul and ex-MP, who is wanted over alleged corruption, fraud and tax evasion, has been arrested in Serbia, Romanian authorities said Friday.

On the run since December, Sebastian Ghita was detained overnight in the Serbian capital Belgrade, Romanian police said in a statement.

Ghita, the head of a private TV station and a former Social Democrat lawmaker, is embroiled in several criminal cases for alleged money-laundering and bribery in Romania, one of the European Union's poorest and most corrupt countries.

He was a close ally of ex-premier Victor Ponta who resigned in 2015, after going down in history as the first sitting Romanian prime minister to stand trial on charges of fraud, complicity tax evasion and money laundering -- charges he denies.

While still on the run, Ghita sparked a scandal in January when he accused the deputy head of Romania's intelligence agency, Florian Coldea, and chief prosecutor Laura Kovesi of fabricating cases.

The intelligence agency has since cleared Coldea of any wrongdoing.

Kovesi's DNA anti-corruption agency has spearheaded a major anti-corruption drive that Brussels has welcomed as long overdue.

However, the agency faces regular criticism from individuals targeted by its investigations, complaining that they are politically motivated. 

 

Last Mod: 15 Nisan 2017, 12:32
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