To free, or not to free, that is the question being asked in Romanian courts in the early release process for former PM Adrian Nastase (in picture). The disgraced politician took a step closer to freedom when Bucharest’s Sector 4 District Court recently approved an appeal for early release on the grounds of good behavior. However, the decision can be appealed and Romania’s Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) has already indicated that it will contest the judgment.
Nastase has served around a third of his two year jail sentence for corruption and is thus eligible for early release from Jilava Prison under Romanian law. Back in January, a prison commission gave the go-ahead for Nastase’s release and the court hearing was set for February 12. The former PM’s lawyers attempted to get the date moved forward, but in the end, the hearing went ahead as scheduled.
According to the authorities, Nastase’s conduct in prison has been good. He has taken part in education and therapy programs, and got involved in training activities and positively influenced the other inmates, according to the report of the jail commission. He also constantly updated his blog.
Writing a scientific paper and getting involved in the educational activities earned him 342 credits and three internal rewards. The former PM has not been sanctioned on discipline issues. His good behavior got him a 45-day reduction of his sentence. The former PM also attended nine debates and a conference organized for the inmates. One of the debates was even on political issues. He took five sessions on the eLearning platform, which are a standard for inmates, as well as a family life education program and a program to develop his skills.
After years of legal wrangling, former PM Adrain Nastase was given a definitive two year jail sentence by the Romanian Supreme Court back in June 2012. There was drama when police came to take him to prison, with Nastase being rushed to hospital after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Following his recovery, he was sent to the Jilava prison to serve his sentence.
The former PM was found guilty of having financed his election campaigns with funds collected for the symposium ‘Quality Trophy’, organized by the State Inspectorate for Quality in Construction in 2004. Participation fees for the symposium in 2004, totaling EUR 1.6 million, went to four companies, controlled by two members of Nastase’s entourage.
Adrian Nastase, a former leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), served as PM when the PSD were in power between 2000 and 2004. The trial lasted over three years and involved 900 witnesses and 48 court hearings.