Romania: Party chief Dragnea sentenced to three and a half years in prison

The head of the Romanian ruling party, Liviu Dragnea, has been sentenced to prison for corruption. Thousands demand his resignation.

Romania: Party chief Dragnea sentenced to three and a half years in prison

Liviu Dragnea, head of Romanian Government party, has been sentenced to a multi-year prison sentence by country's Supreme Court. Dragnea could refore be imprisoned for three years and six months for instigation of abuse. The verdict is not yet final: observers expect head of Social democratic psd to appeal. Dragnea is considered most powerful politician in country.

As regional president, Dragnea should have been jointly responsible for two bogus employments. The youth welfare Office in Südrumänischen district of Teleorman had paid two women's salaries between 2006 and 2013, but in reality both had worked for PSD. In addition to Dragnea, nine or people were sentenced to prison sentences in same case. So far, Dragnea denied accusations.

More than 5,000 people gared after ruling in front of building of government to demand resignation of Dragneas and of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. Until final clarification of procedure, he may, under Romanian law, remain spokesperson and party leader. The party leaders come toger on Friday: But observers expect that y will be behind ir party leader.

Thousands demonstrated on Wednesday

Only on Wednesday, thousands had demonstrated against a controversial amendment to Criminal Procedure Code that Parliament had adopted with a PSD majority on Monday. After amendment, investigation procedures are shortened and conditions for order of pre-trial detention are tightened.

President Klaus Iohannis accused Dragnea of taking advantage of law himself. Dragnea had been sentenced to two years imprisonment for election fraud 2016. After election victory of his party, he was refore unable to become head of government in December 2016. With reform, he could apply for a review of his probationary sentence.

The demonstrators also accuse government of jeopardizing independence of judiciary with reform. On Wednesday evening y had gared spontaneous protests in Bucharest and at least ten or small towns. Unlike before, police arrested some people-including a German journalist.

In January, Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, after not even seven months, had given up his office. It was preceded by a month-long power struggle with Dragnea. He promoted many incompetent party friends to high offices, said Tudose in his resignation.

The Romanian government has been trying to defuse bribery laws since taking office in January 2017. The head of Romanian Antikorruptionsbehörde Laura Kövesi is also to be deposed. Only a third of 1,300 accusations of Antikorruptionsstaatsanwaltschaft concerned 2016 abuse of authority. Against Dragnea, authority charges accusations of misuse and falsification of documents.

Updated Date: 22 June 2018, 12:02

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