Mayor charged with bribes, placed under house arrest

BUCHAREST: A court has ruled that the mayor of Bucharest, suspended from his post after he was arrested on bribery charges, will be held under house arrest.

The Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that Sorin Oprescu, in custody since Sept. 6, will be freed from arrest and held at home during the investigation. He is banned from contacting witnesses in the case.

Oprescu was arrested on suspicion that he took bribes of 25,000 euros ($28,000) from firms working for city hall. He is the most senior politician to be arrested on corruption charges this year. He denies wrongdoing.

The anti-corruption prosecutors' office said that the firms paid bribes to high-ranking city hall officials from their profits. About 10 percent allegedly went directly to Oprescu.