Posted on June 1, 2012
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A court has sentenced a Romanian lawmaker to five years in prison for receiving hundreds of thousands of euros from businessmen to pay off judges for favorable outcomes in court cases.
The court convicted Catalin Voicu, a Senator for the Social Democratic Party on Friday of receiving about €260,000 ($322,000 ) from July to September 2009 from businessmen Costel Capsunaru and Marius Locic.
Capsunaru and Locic were each handed four-year sentences for paying bribes, and former judge Florin Costiniu was given a three year suspended sentence. All four can appeal Friday's ruling.
Voicu claims he is not guilty. In 2010, lawmakers stripped his immunity, and he was then arrested, making him first lawmaker to be arrested since the 1989 anti-communist revolt.
The European Union, which Romania joined in 2007, has repeatedly called on Romania to crack down on high-level corruption.