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Romanian High Court acquits ex-PM Adrian Nastase in major corruption case

de V.O.
Joi, 15 decembrie 2011, 13:04 English | Top News

​Romania's High Court of Justice acquitted ex-PM Adrian Nastase in a major case in which he, a former aide and a former head of the national body dealing with money laundering were charged with acts of corruption. The decision is not final and can be appealed. Anti-graft prosecutors have demanded a 3-year suspended term sentence for Adrian Nastase in the case, commonly known in Romania as the "Aunt Tamara" case.

The "Aunt Tamara" case is the third in which the former prime minister was sent to court by the National Anti-Corruption Department.

The other two people indicted in the case, former PM aide Ristea Priboi and Ioan Melinescu, the head of the national office responsible with preventing money laundering schemes (ONPCSB), were also acquitted.

The sentence in the Aunt Tamara case had been postponed twice before.

  • In the Aunt Tamara case, prosecutors say Melinescu and Nastase met in November 2000, when the former, as a member of the ONPCSB board, informed the latter (then a deputy) that ONPCSB was dealing with a file saying that Nastase's wife Dana placed 400,000 US dollars in a Creditanstalt (which eventually became HVB Bank) account. Melinescu allegedly promised Nastase he would block the file until after the election and, when named president of the ONPCSB body, took away the file and handed it to Ristea Priboi, who was serving as Adrian Nastase's aide at the time. According to prosecutor charges, the money could not be supported by the Nastase family's incomes. Documents showed the money came from the sale of valuable paintings, jewels and other objects which allegedly belonged to Dana Nastase's aunt, Cernasov Tamara, a 91 year old woman living alone in an block apartment.

The case has spent 1659 days in court, with a prescription deadline of July 2013.

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