Former MP, former judge and two Romanian businessmen get jail time for trading influence

Romanian senator Catalin Voicu from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) was sent to prison for five years for trading influence, while businessman Costel Casuneanu got four years in jail, with parole under surveillance. The court decided to confiscate EUR 200,000 and RON 119,000 from the senator and place his assets under levy until these amounts reach the state budget. Voicu will have to serve his sentence in jail, if the court appeal does not pass, while the others found guilty in this case can be out on parole.

Another businessman judged in this case, Marius Locic, was sentenced to four years jail time, with parole, also for trading influence. Former judge Florin Costiniu was also sentenced to three years in jail for complicity to influence trading. The decisions came end last week and can be appealed.

According to prosecutors, Voicu, an MP, received some EUR 260,000 from Costel Casuneanu in 2009, for lobbying at the High Court of Justice, where Florin Costiniu was working, in favor of Casuneanu’s firm, which was on trial. Voicu did something similar in the same year with Marius Locic, who gave him some RON 119,000.

Voicu received three sentences, two of four and five years for trading influence, and one of 1.2 years for forging official documents. He will serve the bigger sentence, of five years. Voicu was arrested in July 2011 and stayed in jail until end of March 2012, a period which will be deducted from his final jail time.

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