Friday, December 16, 2011

Romania's ex-PM cleared of corruption charges

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A top court in Romania ruled Thursday that former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase is not guilty of bribery in a corruption case.

The Bucharest court dismissed the charges against Nastase, who hailed the ruling as "the right solution." Two other former government officials also were acquitted in the case.

Livia Saplacan, a spokeswoman for the anti-corruption prosecutor's office, said it will appeal the decision.

Nastase had been accused of paying a bribe to a government official in charge of preventing money laundering in order to destroy documents regarding a bank deposit of $400,000 (euro308,000) by Nastase's wife. He said the money deposited in his wife's account came from her wealthy aunt's sales of paintings and rare books.

Nastase, who was served as prime minister from 2000 to 2004, is the most senior Romanian politician to ever have been tried for corruption. He still faces two other corruption trials, but says those cases are politically motivated.

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