- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Adrian Nastase could have his two-year jail term trimmed for good behaviour - and for having written a book while in prison.
The parole board of Jilava prison, near Bucharest, on Wednesday said that former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase could get a 45-day reduction in his two-year jail sentence for corruption on account of his good conduct.
The board took into consideration Nastase's good behaviour and the fact that he has written a book while behind bars.
“Mr Nastase has done the public a service, as over a 30-day period he wrote a book, which has been published by a renowned publishing house,” Georgiana Gherman, from the National Penitenciary Administration, ANP, explained.
Nastase is no stranger to life as an author. A former law professor, he previously published several books on law and international relations.
A date has been set for a hearing on Nastase’s parole on February 12, but the former PM’s lawyers have asked for the date to be brought forward.
After years of legal wrangling, Nastase was given a definitive two-year jail sentence for corruption in June 2012. The former premier tried to shoot himself in the neck while police took him into custody.
A policeman grabbed the gun and prevented him from inflicting more serious injuries. But one bullet penetrated his neck, just missing a key artery, doctors said.
Following his recovery, he was sent to Jilava prison to serve his sentence.
Nastase was found guilty of using around 1.6 million euro from the state budget to finance his 2004 presidential campaign. Five other defendants tried in the same case were sentenced to five or six years in prison.
Nastase was Prime Minister from December 2000 to December 2004 and stood for the Social Democratic Party, PSD, in the 2004 presidential election.
Nastase has faced other corruption allegations. In April 2012, he was given a three-year suspended jail sentence for blackmail but was cleared of corruption in a case that dragged on for over six years.
In December 2011, he was cleared in another corruption case, concerning a 300,000 euro inheritance from his wife’s aunt.
Romania is still considered one of the most corrupt states in the European Union and has made only limited progress in fighting corruption and organised crime since it joined the EU in 2007.
Bucharest has drawn repeated criticism from the European Commission for its failure to tackle corruption. But in recent months, the number of high-ranking officials sentenced for graft has increased significantly.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.