Romanian High Court of Justice magistrates gave former prime minister Adrian Nastase on Monday a 2-year sentence and stripped him of certain rights in a corruption case known locally as the "Quality Trophy" file. In this case, Nastase, who served as head of the Romanian government between 2000 and 2004, was charged of supporting his electoral campaign through funds collected in a "Quality Trophy" event organized by the a public institution. The sentence can be appealed.

Adrian NastaseFoto: Hotnews

UPDATE Adrian Nastase said on Monday he would appeal the verdict and that he was sure "things will be corrected on appeal". He called the verdict a "political decision, a dirty decision" and referred to "rumors" that head judge Ionut Matei "had meetings with representatives of the National Anti-corruption Department", the body which launched the corruption investigation against him.

Another suspect in the case, Bogdan Popovici, president of Forum Invest, received a seven-year sentence.

The sentence was due to be announced on January 23, but it was postponed because one judge was absent for personal reasons.

The corruption case has lasted for no less than 1063 days. Over 900 witnesses were heard during 48 sessions.

Adrian Nastase, a prominent leader of the now in opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD), has permanently claimed that he was the victim of a politically motivated case "fabricated" by anti-graft prosecutors at the orders of current president Traian Basescu.

Nastase has been accused that in 2004 he covered fundraising for his electoral campaign by initiating a symposium named "The Quality Trophy in Construction Works". The event was organized by a state-controlled construction works body and the collected taxes - amounting to over 1.6 million euro - reached four companies controlled by two people close to Adrian Nastase and his family. The money then moved on to a firm which provided various services in Nastase's 2004 presidential campaign.