Image by J Stimp from Bucharest, Romania
I have written a lot about the fight against corruption in Eastern Europe, and Western Europe for that matter. I have also written a lot about the corruption of our security services in the United States and other parts of the West. So it came to no surprise when I stumbled across the story of Alexander Adamescu and the attempt to extradite him from the United Kingdom to his Romania on corruption charges, that the corruption could be coming from the Romanian government itself, in order to remove a political irritant, and acquire the businesses of a political rival.
This type of thing unfortunately is rather routine in this part of the world. I’ve seen it in Ukraine, Moldova, and elsewhere.
Alexander’s father, Dan Adamescu, died in a Romanian prison in 2017, serving his sentence after twice denied release on parole. The reasons for his death are not clear. Eight of nine requests for medical care were denied, and many believe his death was caused by the horrific conditions of his captivity. His conviction was based on a single witness for bribing a judge in a bankruptcy case in the failure of one of his insurance companies, a charge he always refuted. His crime was running an opposition newspaper highly critical of the Romanian government. The newspaper, Romania Libera, was critical of Communist governments in power in the country after the fall of the Ceausescu regime following the fall of the Berlin Wall and to this day questions policies of Socialist parties in power in Romania.
Here we have a case of the anti-corruption infrastructure in Romania using the special powers, given to them by the people to root out corruption, to settle old scores against political opponents.
There is public evidence for this accusation.
When the Romanian government denied Adamescu’s application for bail at his first court appearance, the judge referred to “the serious of the illegal actions committed by him,” as if these actions had already been proven, and added that Adamescu “must be exposed to public shame.”
Once he was imprisoned, Adamescu was forced to live in conditions that are not acceptable under Western standards; overcrowding was a significant issue, along with sanitary conditions. Once he became ill, he was denied medical treatment, until it was too late.
Here is an excerpt from a signed affidavit regarding prison conditions experience by Adamescu: In the cells in CRAP no. and no. 5, the floor is directly cement. There is no flooring. The dried dirt and feces sticks directly to the floor. There is no table and no chair. There are no mattresses (just some thin, soiled linings, eaten by rats), there are no plates, glasses or cutlery. The toilet hole serves also as a shower. I have been able to wash my clothes only in the toilet/shower during the 5 months I spent in CRAP no. 1 and no. 5. There were no windows (run out), so that one was constantly exposed to cold or heat. It was teeming with cockroaches, rats and insects. There were no cleaning agents.
After his father’s death, the Romanian government was not content and wanted to remove the ability of Adamescu’s family to retrieve Dan’s business assets. It remembered his son Alexander, for whom a domestic arrest warrant was issued, under doubtful circumstances, after being rejected by the initial judge, for the same corruption charges. A European Arrest Warrant, or EAW, was then issued to extradite Alexander from London, where he has been living with his wife and three children since 2012. Alexander is a German citizen, not Romanian.
The unfortunate circumstance regarding an EAW, is the assumption that all European countries abide by the same rules when it comes to human rights and treatment of prisoners. Per the affidavits I have read, this is obviously not the case.
Dan Adamescu did not get a fair trial in Romania and paid for it with his life. There is no expectation that Alexander will either if extradited. His attorneys are asking the British court to check to see if the Romanian government follows and meets the main tenants of the international Human Rights Conventions. Alexander’s counsel believes Romania does not.
The British court system is seen as one of the last places in the world where might does not make right. It would be a shame if the UK becomes a party to this travesty of justice and extradites Alexander back to Bucharest.
Perhaps if enough public pressure is applied to air the possibility of this happening to the public, the UK may take another look. We hope this article helps in that regard.
Originally posted at The Washington Times