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Having spent eight months and three weeks in prison, a period representing one third of the total two-year sentence handed down by the High Court of Justice and Cassation in the ‘Quality Trophy’, ex-PM Adrian Nastase was expected to be released last night. Yesterday, the Bucharest Tribunal panel made up of Ioana Cleopatra Sipoteanu – President, and Carmen Constanta Balaci and Florentina Vasilateanu – judges, decided by majority to reject DNA’s appeal against the decision of the District 4 Courthouse and ordered the release of Adrian Nastase. Concretely, two of the three judges on the panel voted to release Nastase and the third one decided not to. According to Mediafax, the Criminal Enforcements Department of the Tribunal communicated the decision to Jilava Prison as well as to other institutions.
Yesterday, the hearings were delayed by the DNA prosecutors who said they had found documents submitted by Nastase’s lawyers, which did not have the ‘faithful copy of original document’ mark and other papers carrying such mark, yet raising suspicions. The Tribunal panel of judges resumed the appeal yesterday at about 12:00, after an over two-hour break requested by the DNA prosecutor who said he had not found on file documents detailing the activities for which Nastase had been rewarded in prison. The prosecutor said it was unclear how Nastase’s lawyers had submitted his prison file as the penitentiary was the only institution that was supposed to keep it. The defence, on the other hand, accused DNA of dragging on the hearings in the case, as well as of disloyal competition, pointing out that the former PM was rewarded in prison also after his conditional release application had been granted by the District Courthouse. The lawyer explained that the reward consisted of extra visiting time. Adrian Nastase was escorted from Jilava Prison to the Bucharest Tribunal yesterday at about 9:00, for the hearings of DNA’s appeal against his early release from penitentiary, having already served one third of the two-year sentence received in the ‘Quality Trophy’ case. Over a month ago, the District 4 Courthouse found that all conditions were in place for Adrian Nastase to be conditionally released, but the prosecutors introduced an appeal. Nastase has written five books while in prison, an activity that counted towards the Court’s decision to set him free.
Nastase: I will just ‘breathe’ freedom for a few days, I’m not giving interviews
As soon as the Bucharest Tribunal had rendered its decision on his conditional release motion, Adrian Nastase posted a short text on his blog, noting that ‘for a few days’ he would just spend time ‘breathing’ freedom and that he would not give statements or interviews during that period. ‘I believe you have learnt about the decision of the Bucharest Tribunal on my conditional release from prison. I am happy to be going home, to my family and friends. For a few days, I will just spend my time <breathing> the freedom outside and thinking about future projects. See you soon!’, Nastase states on his blog. And there is also a post scriptum: ‘During this period, I will not be giving interview or press statements’. Ex-PM Adrian Nastase said in Court on Monday that he had always considered himself innocent, but DNA had tried procrastinating his release.