The four-year prison sentence passed on former Romanian prime-minister Adrian Nastase triggered in Romania an exchange of words between the present Prime-Minister Victor Ponta- who called Nastase “a victim of the Basescu regime” comparing Nastase’s situation with that of Ukrainian PM Iulia Timoşenko- and Romanian President Traian Basescu, who called upon Ponta to “cease any attack on the justice system and resume his constitutional attributions as prime-minister.”
The sentence of the high-profile Romanian official was also reported and commented upon by international media outlets.
- In the article Romania ex-PM Adrian Nastase jailed in bribery case, BBC notes that “Nastase denies wrongdoing, saying the cases against him were politically motivated. Romania joined the EU in 2007 and remains under special monitoring by Brussels because of EU concerns about high-level corruption.”
- AFP writes that “Nastase had not been present in court for the hearing, held just 10 months after he was released from a previous jail term. However, he handed himself into police on Monday and was immediately handcuffed and driven to the Rahova prison, on the outskirts of Bucharest.”
- Financial Times notes that “Romania’s former prime minister Adrian Nastase was jailed for a second time on Monday after a court sentenced him to four years for taking bribes, in a move the country is likely to present as further evidence it is getting tough on corruption. (…) Monitoring groups hailed the 2012 jailing of Nastase, the most senior politician in Romania to be convicted of corruption since communism fell, as a sign the country’s judiciary was becoming more effective at tackling endemic graft problems.”
- In the piece titled Romania sends former PM Nastase back to jail for corruption, Reuters writes that “Nastase is the first premier to be put behind bars since the collapse of communism in 1989.(…) The EU has repeatedly raised concerns about a failure to tackle high level graft in Romania and Bulgaria, the bloc’s two poorest members which have been blocked from joining the passport-free Schengen zone over the issue since their entry. Romania once again came under scrutiny late last year after its lower house of parliament voted to increase the immunity of MPs against graft charges. The bill drew criticism from some western embassies and the president.
Adrian Nastase was Romania’s PM between 2000 and 2004.