Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, the Romanian oligarch implicated in the Hunter Biden bribery scandal has had his sentence quietly vacated by a Romanian court. Popoviciu, convicted in Romania on bribery charges and sentenced to seven years in prison, had paid over $3 million to Hunter Biden who brought in former FBI Director Louis Freeh to defend the oligarch. The media had reported the effort as a failed effort to help the Romanian real estate tycoon. A recent decision by a Romanian court to vacate his sentence, however, seems to indicate that the payoff to Hunter Biden ultimately served its purpose.
Popviciu had obtained prime real estate on the north side of Bucharest from the Romanian state for less than $1 a square meter as a result of an arrangement with former Romanian President Traian Băsescu. Băsescu has since been exposed as having been an informant for the Communist Secret Police, the Securitate. The illegal land deal caused damages of over $1 billon to the Romanian state.
In emails on the infamous Hunter Biden laptop, Freeh told Biden that he would “like to make a small payment to you for this referral – and for your continuing work on this matter. This is a standard practice… We would just need your bank information in order to make a
“Thank you Judge Freeh… So honored that you agreed to take this on,” the younger Biden replied.
“Thank you Hunter and I would be delighted to do future work with you,” Freeh answered. “I also spoke to Dad [Joe Biden] a few weeks ago and would like to explore with him some future work options. I believe that working together on these (and other legal) matters would be of value, fun and rewarding.”
While Popoviciu convicted in 2017 and sentenced to seven years in prison, he served no time in jail, having taken refuge in Great Britain. His political connections helped him avoid extradition. In May, a Romanian Appeals Court vacated the sentence on a technicality, stating that “new facts or circumstances, which were not known at the time of the resolution of the case, likely to prove the unfoundedness of the conviction.” The court claims that Popoviciu allegedly did not know when and where the bribe was delivered.
Allegedly, the case will be “retried,” but given the well-known corruption within the Romanian judicial system, it is likely that the payoff to Hunter Biden succeeded in helping Popoviciu escape justice.