Romanian President Traian Basescu (in picture) recently said he feels sorry for what happened to former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, who is currently serving a jail sentence for corruption and misuse of funds for his electoral campaign, and for what this represented for the country.
The president, who thinks Nastase was convicted for a ‘small theft’, also believes the former PM may have chances of coming back to politics and becoming important again, the only issue being whether the Social Democratic Party (PSD) still wants him. “I feel sorry for what happened to Nastase. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but for what he had meant for Romania,” said Basescu.
He added that Nastase finalized some very important negotiations with international organizations that Romania is currently part of, and that he ran the Government with a firm hand. “Nastase did not sell his country, Nastase was convicted for a small theft,” said Basescu. But he sees a future for him: “There are ministers who went to jail, and you know how easily politicians get in trouble when it comes to financing their electoral campaigns. There’s a minister who served two years in jail and was elected MP, and from Parliament he moved to the Government,” the President further exemplified.
Adrian Nastase may be released early from prison, after serving around a third of his two-year jail sentence. The Bucharest District 4 Court recently decided for his early release, but the decision can be further appealed. Romania’s Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) has already indicated that it will contest the judgment.
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.
(photo source: presidency.ro)