A draft legislation on amnesty proposed by two Romanian deputies received amendments in a secret session by members of the Judicial Commission of the House of Deputies on Monday night. While the Commission was discussing a bill on lobby activities, some of the Commission members met separately to amend the amnesty bill. According to HotNews.ro sources, the bill was changed as follows: amnesty for certain offenses sanctioned with prison sentences of up to 6 years and full pardon for prison sentences of up to seven years in certain cases. The change, supported by the Social Democrats according to sources, would benefit prominent politicians who have been accused or even sentenced for corruption crimes, including former PM Adrian Nastase.

UPDATE The bill was eventually withdrawn from the Tuesday plenary session agenda following protests from all parliamentary parties excluding PSD and the Conservative Party.

According to HotNews.ro sources, the changes were promoted by the Social Democrats (PSD), while their governing coalition parners the Liberals (PNL) voted against them.

On Tuesday, the legislative bill is due to be voted in the House, which is the decisive chamber in this case. Procedures say the bill, once voted by the House, has to be vetted by President Traian Basescu.

The bill would benefit former PM Adrian Nastase, who has served time under corruption charges and for whom an interdiction to hold public office for two years would be lifted. Other sentenced officials who would escape charges include former PSD Senator Catalin Voicu and businessman-politician Gigi Becali.