Bloomberg News

Romanian Court Acquits Former Prime-Minister on Corruption

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s Supreme Court found former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase innocent of giving a bribe to another government official while in office seven years ago.

Nastase, 61, a member of the Social Democratic Party, was charged with offering money to Ioan Melinescu, the former head of Romania’s anti-money laundering agency, to stop a probe into his wife’s bank account, where he allegedly hide a bribe of about $400,000. Nastase, who has denied all wrongdoing, still faces other corruption charges.

“I was expecting Mr. Nastase to be acquitted,” said Social Democratic chief Victor Ponta after the ruling. “For seven years he has been harassed by President Traian Basescu and the state’s institutions. I regret that nobody can give Mr. Nastase these years back.”

Prosecutors said they will file an appeal to the same court, which is the only court that handles cases involving high-ranking individuals.

--Editors: James M. Gomez, Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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