Romania Jails First Serving Legislator
The country’s Supreme Court sentenced Virgil Pop, a deputy in the Romanian Parliament, to five years in prison after it rejected his appeal on charges of forgery, money laundering, and abuse of power this week.
Prosecutors said Pop used his influence to unfairly award public contracts to a private company from the northwestern city of
Pop, 44, was a member of the small opposition Liberal Party, until he stepped down after the verdict.
The conviction is a sign that the Romanian government is finally acting on EU pressure to crack down on corruption. It is one of the conditions for
In its latest progress report, the EU said
Although former Prime Minister Adrian Natase and several other parliamentarians were convicted of corruption last year, some received suspended sentences or are free pending appeal.
Natase received a two year sentence for corruption last year, but he remains free awaiting appeal. If the verdict is confirmed, he would be the first former prime minister behind bars since the fall of communism in 1989.