Friday, June 24, 2011

EU waives immunity of Romanian MEP Severin over corruption scandal

23 JUNE 2011 

BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) -- The European Parliament on Thursday waived the parliamentary immunity of Romanian MEP Adrian Severin who is involved in a corruption scandal unveiled by a British .

Members of the European Parliament voted to waive Severin's immunity in order to allow an investigation into the corruption scandal which was unveiled by the Sunday Times newspaper last March.

"I welcome the decision of the European Parliament on regards to my parliamentary immunity as it will open an investigation after months of unfounded accusations and lies," told Severin to the state-run Agerpres news agency.

The MEPs remarked that the decision did not represent any opinion on the guilt or otherwise of the Romanian MEP until a final judgment is passed. Severin is accused of passive corruption and/or influence peddling.

On March 21, the Romanian National Anti-Corruption Department began proceedings against Severin over the accusations indicating that he accepted a bribery offer from a fake lobbying company, Taylor Jones Public Affairs, set up by the Sunday Times.

Between December 2010 and March 2011, Severin allegedly accepted an offer for a €100,000 ($142,730) payment and requested payment of an initial installment of €12,000 ($17,120) for services rendered, in exchange for his support in the European Parliament for a draft amendment to a directive on deposit-guarantee schemes.

After the accusations were unveiled, Severin, a former deputy prime minister in Romania, suspended himself from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and left the party's group in the European Parliament but did not step down from his MEP seat.

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