Romanian businessman Sebastian Ghita, who faces several criminal inquiries at home and who has been on the run since late 2016, was retained in Belgrade during the night of April 13-14, the Romanian police has announced. has reported a month ago that Ghita was spotted in Serbia, but the report had been denied by Romanian government officials, including the prime minister, at the time.

Schimbarea de fizionomie a lui Sebastian GhitaFoto: AGERPRES

Ghita, an influential businessman with major IT businesses built on contracts wih the state, also owns media outlets including a TV channel. He is notorious for his links with the intelligence community and top politicians. He served as an MP for the Social Democrats between 2012-2016, but failed to win another term in elections last year, when he ran for a far-right party.

He fled in suspicious circumstances late last year, as authorities were prepared to act against him following a wave of criminal charges against him, mostly related to corruption.

He used his TV channel to further support the governing PSD and to seed distrust in the anti-corruption department (DNA) prosecutors by personally recording tapes in which he made a series of allegations against the DNA and the Romanian intelligence services. The tapes were broadcast by his TV channel, Romania TV.

Ghita has now been announced to be in police custody in Belgrade, after he was retained when he presented fake Slovenian IDs. Extradition procedures are expected to last for about a month.