Alexander Adamescu to be extradited to #Romania

| April 16, 2018

A London court ruled on Friday, 13 April, that wealthy businessman Alexander Adamescu could finally be extradited to Romania, where he faces trial for bribery charges. Less than a month after the Westminster Court arrested him for forging documents meant to show that the penitentiary system in Romania is not up to par with human rights guidelines, British judges ordered that extradition procedures be initiated and completed within 17 days. Adamescu was also ordered to pay £31,000 in court fees.

A dual German and Romanian citizen, Adamescu has managed to evade the Romanian authorities since 2016. In May of that same year, Romania’s National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to prosecute him alongside his father, business tycoon Dan Adamescu, for bribing two judges. The younger Adamescu was subsequently arrested on 13 June 2016 in London. Instead of prison time, Adamescu managed to get out on bail but had to wear an ankle bracelet and had to call in to a local police station three times a week.

In order to delay his extradition, he has since waged an elaborate media war in Romania and the UK that has employed much of the press in order to portray himself as an innocent playwright. Adamescu’s defence centred around allegations levied against the Romanian state, by arguing that his case is fabricated by the authorities for political reasons.

Yet Adamescu has also contended that conditions in Romanian prisons are inhumane, asserting that his father died in prison in January 2017 as a result while serving a sentence for corruption. However, contrary to Adamescu’s statement, Romanian media reported extensively that Dan Adamescu had actually died in a private hospital after suffering for years from several illnesses unrelated to his imprisonment.

Nevertheless, Alexander Adamescu submitted a document to the London court earlier this year to back up his accusations against Romania’s penitentiary system. The document was supposedly issued by a state agency, the Romanian National Administration of Penitentiaries (ANP). But in a surprise twist, the UK authorities determined the document to be forged, which led to Adamescu’s preventive arrest on 2 March by London police.

A subsequent request to reinstate bail was shot down on 23 March as his denying any role in the forgery was considered unconvincing by the court. He continues to be held in Wandsworth Penitentiary and will remain there until his extradition is finalised.

According to Romanian reports, this wasn’t the first time that Adamescu used forged documents in international judicial proceedings. The businessman was found to have presented an international tribunal in Washington DC with a backdated “power of attorney” note that he sought to attest his importance as a witness in an international arbitration trial where he’s facing off with the Romanian state.

Adamescu shot to fame in the UK after his cause was picked up by pro-Brexit factions. His efforts to prevent extradition have been amplified by leading Brexit figures, including Jacob Rees-Mogg as well as Steven Woolfe. They eagerly embraced the opportunity to undermine the legitimacy of the EAW by painting it as a tool for politically-motivated prosecution in the European Union.

Given Adamescu’s history of stalling extradition procedures, it is likely that his lawyers will formally object to the court’s decision. Nonetheless, considering that he is now facing a clear deadline of 17 days for the first time in two years, it seems like time is quickly running out.

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Category: A Frontpage, Judicial, Justice and Home Affairs, Politics, Romania

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