Romania's Prince Paul detained in big case of alleged real estate fraud

Prosecutors on Friday detained Romania's Prince Paul in a case of alleged real estate fraud involving a top aide to a former prime minister and a newspaper editor.

Prosecutors ordered businessman Remus Truica, the former head of Cabinet of ex-Premier Adrian Nastase, be put under house arrest Friday. Truica has been charged with setting up a criminal group in 2006 that is alleged to have fraudulently acquired 170,000 square meters (1.8 million square feet) of state-owned land for Prince Paul. The fraud is estimated at 136 million euros ($150 million).

Paul was questioned Friday afternoon and later handcuffed and detained in the central city of Brasov, where the probe is being conducted. He denies wrongdoing and says he is a victim of Truica.

Meanwhile, the managing director of daily Evenimentul Zilei, Dan Andronic, quit his job Friday after being charged with being part of the same criminal group. Three others have been charged.

Paul, 67, is the grandson of King Carol II. Romania's monarchy ended when the communists came to power. His uncle, King Michael, was forced to abdicate in 1947. Paul is estranged from Michael.