ECONOMY

Steaua wins its court case on taxes

BUCHAREST (AP) – A Bucharest court ordered tax authorities yesterday to «unfreeze» the assets of Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali. The National Agency for Fiscal Administration claimed last month that Steaua owed 11 million euros ($13.2 million) in unpaid taxes, and froze Becali’s assets to recover the debt. Becali, who took over the team in 2003, said the debts were incurred by the former managers of the club and that Steaua was now operating as a new company without any tax debts. «This shows there is democracy in Romania and that the justice system works,» Becali told reporters after leaving the courthouse. The tax agency did not immediately react to the verdict. Its director Sebastian Bodu has said in the past that it would appeal the verdict if Becali wins the case. Bodu has said he froze Becali’s assets to block an attempt by the businessman to sell the club to his relatives for 500,000 euros ($600,000). Steaua, which won the 1986 European Cup, won the league title last season. Most Romanian soccer clubs have debts to the state and Bodu has previously said that he will move to recover the debts.