Jail (again) for former PM in China imports scandal

From the SA Press Association-DPA:

Former Romanian prime minister Adrian Nastase will return to prison for four years for corruption and extortion, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.Nastase3

Nastase was convicted for blackmailing officials to facilitate the illegal and customs-free import of Chinese furniture for his private home between 2002 and 2004.

The goods he effectively smuggled into Romania were worth 630,000 euros (856,000 dollars). The ruling by the panel of five judges is final, with no possibility of appeal.

The court also sentenced Nastase’s wife, Dana, to three years’ probation, for forging customs documents in the same case, the Mediafax news agency reported.

The verdict follows a two-year sentence for Nastase for running a slush fund for his Social Democratic Party during his 2000-04 tenure as prime minister.

He went to prison in August 2012 and was released on parole eight months later, in March 2013, after serving the minimum one-third of the sentence.

Nastase is the highest-ranking official to go to jail in Romania, a member of the European Union since 2007 which has been regularly criticized by Brussels for failing to crack down on corruption.

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