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January 18, 2022

Anti-corruption prosecutors defer Adrian Severin to justice

MEP is charged with influence-peddling and bribe-taking in the case of corruption within European Parliament.

Anti-corruption prosecutors advised MEP Adrian Severin, on Friday, of charges brought against him, as the latter was deferred to justice.

“On July 18, 2011, prosecutors within the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) deferred Adrian Severin, Member of the European Parliament, to justice, on charges of bribe-taking and influence-peddling. On July 22, 2011, the defendant was advised of the charges, in keeping with article 6, paragraph 3, of the Criminal Procedure Code,” a release by DNA informs. According to the same source, given that the investigation is in progress, no further information can be released for now.

Severin, who had his immunity lifted by the European Parliament (EP) on June 23, came of his own accord, on Friday, to DNA, stating he had “a preliminary discussion” with the prosecutors. “It was a preliminary discussion and I will refrain from making any statements for the time of the procedure,” Severin said, quoted by Mediafax. He added he would collaborate with DNA for the time of the investigation. “I will collaborate with them, as I believe we are in the same camp. I’m going on holiday today and I am actually glad I got to have this discussion before leaving,” the MEP further stated, adding that other meetings with the prosecutors would, most likely, follow.

This spring, “Sunday Times” reporters recorded a conversation with the-then Social Democratic Party (PSD) MEP Adrian Severin in his office in Strasbourg, in which the latter referred to endeavours to introduce an amendment to a European directive. The British reporters promised several MEPs – a Romanian, a Slovenian and an Austrian – a EUR 100,000-bribe in exchange for the adoption of a number of amendments. The three deputies accepted the offer, AFP reported, at the time. Severin even sent an email to the mock lobbyists, reading: “Just to let you know the amendment you requested was filed on time”. Shortly afterwards, he sent a EUR 12,000-bill for “consultancy services”.

On March 20, the EP announced the initiation of an investigation into allegations of corruption made by “The Sunday Times” as regards the three MEPs. The Austrian Conservative Ernst Strasser and former Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler resigned, while the Romanian MEP refused to step down from his EP office. Adrian Severin resigned, however, from PSD. He was also expelled from the Socialist & Democrat Group, in which he acted as deputy president, after announcing his intention of retiring. Severin remained an independent MEP, refusing to relinquish this office, despite explicit requests and critical remarks. On April 5, DNA petitioned the EP President to divest Adrian Severin of his immunity.

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