Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Europe

Romanian court upholds corruption charges against ex-PM

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-20

A Romanian Court upheld a two-year prison sentence for corruption against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase (photo) Wednesday. The country’s failure to tackle corruption has led to it being blocked from the passport-free Schengen zone by the EU.

REUTERS - Romania’s top court confirmed on Wednesday that former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase will serve a two-year jail sentence for corruption, sending a signal the country is trying to address European Union concerns about widespread graft.

The failure to tackle corruption in Romania and neighbouring Bulgaria, the EU’s two newest and poorest members has led to both being blocked from joining the passport-free Schengen zone.

Nastase becomes the most senior politician to be jailed since the 1989 fall of communism after the Supreme Court upheld elements of Nastase’s appeal, but confirmed a previous sentence of two years in prison.

Prosecutors said $2 million was missing from the state budget in 2004 when profits from an event organised by a state construction watchdog were used to finance Nastase’s presidential campaign. Nastase lost the election to Traian Basescu, who is still Romania’s president.

Nastase denied any wrongdoing and said the case was political.

Analysts and anti-graft campaigners hailed Nastase’s original conviction and sentencing in January as a step in the right direction for what watchdog Transparency International says is the EU’s third most corrupt country, after Greece and Bulgaria.

They say putting a senior politician behind bars sends an important signal that Romania is cracking down on graft. But while prosecutors have convicted some lawmakers, many sentences are suspended or remain free pending a long appeal process.

A keen hunter and fisherman, Nastase was prime minister in a leftist government in 2000-2004 and remains a senior politician in the USL alliance, which took power last month and is expected to win a majority in a parliamentary election due in November.

Romanians protested around the country earlier this year against austerity and perceived corruption among politicians.

The demonstrations brought down the government.

Photo credit: AFP

Date created : 2012-06-20

  • ROMANIA

    Romanian prime minister quits over austerity protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)