Romania hands jail sentence to ex-minister exiled in Costa Rica

June 6, 2018

A Romanian court on Tuesday sentenced in absentia a former Cabinet minster who fled legal troubles by seeking refuge in Costa Rica to six years in prison for a corruption conviction.

Tuesday’s decision upholds a previous judgement last year against which 44-year-old Elena Udrea had appealed.

Udrea claimed asylum in Costa Rica in February, saying she was the victim of “a politically-motivated trial”, and has since stirred controversy by posting numerous interviews online from her self-imposed exile.

In the past she has posed for glamour magazines and the Romanian media dubbed her “Traian Basescu’s blonde”, referring to the country’s former centre-right president.

At the height of her career Udrea was considered one of Romania’s most influential politicians. She was convicted for taking bribes from several businessmen in connection with the financing of a boxing show in 2011.

As part of Tuesday’s judgement, Udrea, whose fortune has been the subject of widespread speculation in Romania, will have to pay back 900,000 euros ($1.05 million) to two local businessmen and 1.7 million euros in damages to the national tourism authority.

A former president of the Romanian Boxing Federation, Rudel Obreja, has also been jailed for five years in connection to the case.

In recent years, dozens of local and national politicians have been prosecuted for fraud by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog DNA in an effort to tackle the problem in what is one of the EU’s most graft-prone countries.

But the campaign has earned the DNA the enmity of some of Romania’s political elite, as well as accusations of abuse of power.

You may be interested

Down but not out
Boxing
53 views
Boxing
53 views

Down but not out

The Tico Times - June 24, 2018

DETROIT, MICHIGAN –  Costa Rican boxing star Hanna Gabriels lost to Claressa Shields in an IBF and WBA world middleweight…

5 questions for Costa Rican pop rock band Half Tangerine
Weekend Arts Spotlight
92 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
92 views

5 questions for Costa Rican pop rock band Half Tangerine

Elizabeth Lang - June 24, 2018

For vocalist Ana María Aguilar and guitarist Daniela García of Costa Rican pop rock band Half Tangerine, music is both a long-lasting…

Panama prepares for its toughest World Cup challenge yet
Soccer
215 views
Soccer
215 views

Panama prepares for its toughest World Cup challenge yet

AFP - June 23, 2018

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia –  Panama will name an unchanged line-up for the World Cup Group G clash against England on Sunday…