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Monday, July 22, 2024

Fugitive Romanian prince triggers legal storm on sun-kissed island

“The justice minister wants him as a trophy to buttress her campaign for the presidential elections in December,” he added. “This is the long and short of it.”

Romanian Justice Minister Alina-Ștefania Gorghiu has not, so far, announced any intention to run for president.

Gorghiu’s spokesperson said she is “interested by all ‘fugitives,’ no matter the name of a certain person,” and her only goal was to “bring back all the persons who are trying to escape from the long arm of justice.”

“We are confident that the objectives of mutual trust and cooperation” between Romania and Malta “will be achieved,” the spokesperson added.

Maltese authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

Paul Philippe is the grandson of King Carol II, who ruled Romania from 1930 until his abdication in 1940. The monarchy was abolished in 1947 by the communist regime and the royal family expelled, though today it still enjoys much of its former status and pageantry.

A Romanian court recognized Paul Philippe’s princely lineage in 2012 but he is not a member of the royal House of Romania.

He fled the country after the Romanian authorities convicted him and several others for taking part in an illegal restitution and influence-peddling scheme involving the Snagov Forest and Băneasa Royal Farm, real estate which formerly belonged to the royal family, costing the Romanian state €145 million.

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