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Romanian court orders arrest of ex-finance minister, mayor on bribery charges

  • In this picture taken on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, former Romanian finance minister Darius Valcov exits handcuffed from the prosecutors office in Bucharest, Romania.   Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso.  Prosecutors questioned Darius Valcov on Friday March 27, 2015, saying the paintings had been hidden by four of his friends. The works have been sent to art experts for evaluation. Valcov, under house arrest since Thursday, declined to comment.  (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT

    In this picture taken on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, former Romanian finance minister Darius Valcov exits handcuffed from the prosecutors office in Bucharest, Romania. Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso. Prosecutors questioned Darius Valcov on Friday March 27, 2015, saying the paintings had been hidden by four of his friends. The works have been sent to art experts for evaluation. Valcov, under house arrest since Thursday, declined to comment. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • In this picture taken on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, former Romanian finance minister Darius Valcov exits handcuffed from the prosecutors office in Bucharest, Romania.   Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso.  Prosecutors questioned Darius Valcov on Friday March 27, 2015, saying the paintings had been hidden by four of his friends. The works have been sent to art experts for evaluation. Valcov, under house arrest since Thursday, declined to comment.  (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT

    In this picture taken on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, former Romanian finance minister Darius Valcov exits handcuffed from the prosecutors office in Bucharest, Romania. Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso. Prosecutors questioned Darius Valcov on Friday March 27, 2015, saying the paintings had been hidden by four of his friends. The works have been sent to art experts for evaluation. Valcov, under house arrest since Thursday, declined to comment. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

A Romanian court has ordered the arrest of the previous finance minister and an influential mayor who face separate bribery charges.

The court ruled Thursday that Darius Valcov can be arrested on charges that he took 2 million euros ($2.1 million) in bribes when he was a mayor. Valcov resigned on March 15 and was under house arrest.

Prosecutors say Valcov had hidden works by Picasso and Renoir, and 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of gold, in a friend's safe.

The court also ordered the arrest of Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare, who once dressed in a Nazi uniform at a fashion show.

Prosecutors say Mazare received 9 million euros ($9.8 million) in bribes in exchange for handing out permits and for letting a businessman win contracts to refurbish the city.