Crime

Money launderer says convicted despite plea bargain

5 days ago

Vilmos László Bojtor, ethnic Hungarian businessman from Romania says he was convicted to a six-year prison sentence despite assurances from both the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Hungarian secret service (Információs Hivatal, IH).

Bojtor was sentenced in a case of misuse of power, corruption and money-laundering in which the main defendant was Sándor Kiss, former deputy president of the Bihar/Bihor county council. Kiss received an eight-year sentence in the first instance at the Nagyvárad/Oradea court and Bojtor six years, while Kiss also has to pay back damages to the state amounting to EUR 5.5 million ($6.3 million).

Sándor Kiss in court (image: ebihoreanul.ro)

During the appeal of his case, Bojtor told the court that he met officers of the DNA, SRI and IH in a restaurant in Nagyvárad during which the officers assured him that if he testified against Kiss he would only receive a suspended prison sentence. He also named the Romanian officers: Adrian Munteanu and Traian Surducan.

Bojtor was the key witness in the case against Kiss as the authorities did not have any material proof. The Romanian prosecution described the scheme – in which the county council bought overpriced machinery – as “unusually clever”.  The prosecution also said while Kiss was the head of the operation, Bojtor was the brains behind the money-laundering scheme.

Title image: Vilomos László Bojtor in court (image source: crisana.ro)