He was allowed to remain on bail while he appealed. In December last year, the Romanian Supreme Court upheld his convictions, while reducing the sentence, but he fled the country before giving himself up in the UK.
He is now free in London while he awaits an extradition hearing next month.
He is the latest in a stream of Romanian criminals exploiting a legal loophole to head to the UK before using human rights laws to prevent being sent back.
MPs last night condemned the ‘outrageous’ case and said Preda – who drives a £60,000 BMW X5 sports utility vehicle – was ‘taking the mickey’ out of taxpayers who have to cover court costs and his legal aid bills. The Romanian authorities are demanding he be sent back after issuing a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).
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