Beny Steinmetz sentenced to five years jail in Romania

Beny Steinmetz  photo: Aviv Hofi

Steinmetz and Tal Silberstein were convicted of land fraud by the Romanian Supreme Court after acquittal in a lower court.

Businessman Beny Steinmetz and communications consultant Tal Silberstein have been convicted in the Romanian Supreme Court of fraud in connection with land deals. The pair were acquitted on all charges in the lower court. Both were sentenced to five years imprisonment. They can appeal against the conviction in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The background to the affair is the nationalization of land in Romania by the Communist regime there. After the regime fell, people who owned land privately in the 1940s could recover the land. Beny Steinmetz was a partner in and advisor to an entity that held shares in a company that bought rights in land from a prince of the Romanian royal house.

Steinmetz was accused of being party to allegedly corrupt actions by the company to recover land, and of being involved in money laundering offences and conspiracy to commit the crime. Steinmetz was also accused of unfair influence on officials involved in restoring land to its owners.

In response to the verdict of the Supreme Court in Romania, which overturned the decision by the District Court to acquit Steinmetz and Silberstein, their counsel Adv. Yuval Sasson said, "The appeal proceeding was conducted contrary to law and to the principles of justice, and we intend to appeal to higher European instances and have the proceeding annulled, as has happened more than once in relation to rulings of the Romanian courts."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 17, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Beny Steinmetz  photo: Aviv Hofi
Beny Steinmetz photo: Aviv Hofi
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