News 28 Nov 12

Romania Jails Former Postal Bosses for Corruption

Three former managers of the state-owned postal service have been jailed in the country's ongoing struggle with the culture of official graft.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest

Romania’s highest court on Wednesday jailed the former manager of Posta Romana, the postal service, for six years, while two executive managers received five-year prison terms.

Prosecutors said the three enabled the transfer of real estate to the private sector at below-market prices, causing a loss to the state worth about 8 million euro. They were charged with "abuse of the public interest".

In the same case, a former communications minister, Zsolt Nagy, member of an ethnic Hungarian party now in opposition, received a suspended three-year sentence. A former justice minister, Tudor Chiuariu, from the ruling Liberal Party, was acquitted.

Romania is still considered one of the most corrupt states in the European Union and has made only limited progress in fighting graft and organised crime since it joined the EU in 2007.

It has drawn repeated criticism from the European Commission for its failure to tackle the problem.

But in recent months, the number of high-ranking officials sentenced for graft has increased significantly. Eleven top officials were sent to jail since 2010, according to DNA data, including former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and some other ex-ministers.

Twenty-six mayors and prefects, 24 magistrates and 164 policemen have also been sent to jail, official figures show.

By comparison, no member of government or lawmaker was convicted of corruption between 2002 and 2009.

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