The leading panel of the Romanian House of Deputies has blocked the search warrant released by the Justice Ministry for two proprieties belonging to the former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, on grounds of disagreement with Romanian Constitution, February 13.
Adrian Nastase, 55, the prime minister of the 2000 -2004 social democratic legislature who currently serves as chairman of the lower chamber of the Parliament, has been charged with graft and using his influence while in office in a real estate buy bellow the market value.
The National Anticorruption Department (DNA) accused Nastase of receiving bribes, in kind, valued at more than $ 500 000, in exchange of appointing and maintaining a woman, Irina Jianu, in a high position at the State Inspectorate of Construction.
The goods, thermopane windows and doors, have been used for two houses, the one on Zambaccian street and another one in Prahova County.
The Justice minister has released a search warrant for two houses belonging to Nastase, following the subpoena sent by the DNA on February, 7.
However, the Justice minister’s request was denied by the leaders of the Deputy Chamber, with six votes to four, motivating their decision on the legal procedure that entails such documents be released only by the General Prosecutor's office.
One of the votes was cast by Adrian Nastase himself, as president of the Chamber, disregarding he was the subject of the vote. Two representatives of the governing coalition were absent during the vote.
The Former premier is under investigation in the "Zambaccian" case, for buying a real estate property on Zambaccian Street, a very good area in Bucharest, at a much lower cost than its real value on the market.
Nastase resigned temporarily last month from the post of vice -president in the Social Democrat Party (PSD) after corruption allegations arose, but kept his position as the speaker of the lower house of parliament.
The Romanian newspapers have been very rough on Adrian Nastase, during whose mandate the press was severely deprived of its freedom of speech rights.
"Nastaste’s bribe accounts to 500 thousand dollars," reads Libertatea. „Huge thermopanes protected by House," writes Cotidianul. „Decision to return search request breaks on House regulation" according to EVZ.
"Parliament colleagues protect Nastase from house search," writes Adevarul. "Nastase postpones house search with precious help from Coalition absentees," according to Romania Libera. "Speaker Nastase blocks search for under-charged Nastase," reads Gandul.