Romania's former minister of tourism has evaded justice a second time, driving across the border to Bulgaria shortly before the country's Supreme Court upheld her six-year prison sentence for corruption on Thursday.
The Supreme Court in Bucharest found Elena Udrea guilty of illegally organizing a boxing gala at state expense to boost her image ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections, confirming its own 2018 ruling, which was subsequently overturned by the Constitutional Court due to an irregularity.
However, Udrea did not appear in court for the ruling, choosing instead to head for Bulgaria by car at the Giurgiu-Ruse border crossing, the border police reported.
Udrea's departure was legal, as she had been given no restrictions on her movements while the Supreme Court prepared its ruling.
She has now been placed on Romania's wanted list, however.
Fled to Costa Rica in 2018
Udrea has form, having fled to Costa Rica in 2018 before being tracked down by Interpol and extradited to Romania in 2019, though she was not jailed upon her return, but she was ordered to pay 8.1 million lei ($3.27 million) in damages to the state treasury.
Udrea served as a minister in former prime minister Emil Boc's conservative government between 2008 and 2012.
She is also considered a close confidant of the former conservative president Traian Băsescu (2004-14).