The leader of Romania's main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD), said in an interview with on Thursday that the PSD would accept any court sentence regarding former PM Adrian Nastase, who's the subject of several court cases which the PSD has so far described as politically motivated. PSD leader Victor Ponta's statement comes as Adrian Nastase broke Ponta's lines in a major internal struggle of the party.

Asked what the PSD will do in case Adrian Nastase would receive a sentence in court in the months to come - will it defend him saying he's the victim of President Traian Basescu's regime or comply with the court verdict? - Victor Ponta said he would always comply with the verdict.

"Unlike (Romanian prime minister) Mr. Boc, by formation I am always complying with a court's decision whether I like it or not. But that does not mean - and I raised it politically at the PSD National Council - that a court case or cases which were launched only days after PM Nastase lost the 2004 elections and conclude eight years after, just before elections, are cases wich comply with guarantees of political balance", Ponta said. He added: "I and the PSD I lead comply with any criminal, civil or commercial verdict".

He made the statement as he was prompted about the raising profile of Adrian Nastase and Ion Iliescu - Romania's former PM and President in the early 2000's - within the PSD. Both Nastase and Iliescu have had a low profile within the party for several years. But they have been emerging back to the forefront of PSD politics and made their point in the case of Romanian Senate speaker Mircea Geoana.

Ponta's PSD announced earlier this week it no longer supported Mircea Geoana as speaker of the Senate and called for its replacement. But the move sparked dissent among party ranks, with several influential PSD members speaking up against Ponta's move.