POLITICS

Severin: Comparisons between my case and Strasser’s case are speculative and far-fetched

MEP Adrian Severin stated for Mediafax that the comparisons between his case and the case of former Austrian MEP Ernst Strasser, who was also involved in the ‘Sunday Times’ row and was sentenced to four years in jail on Monday, are “speculative and far-fetched.” “Comparisons cannot be made, or if made they should be made completely differently. They should be made in all directions, not in a single one. The Spanish judiciary moved fastest, clearing the Spanish colleague that was also involved by ‘Sunday Times’ and who is now with me in Strasbourg. And I’m convinced that the Austrian judiciary did not rule on the basis of the ‘Sunday Times’ allegations but on the basis of its own investigation. At any rate, the sentence against Mr. Strasser is not final, and I have no way of expressing an opinion, even after that, because I don’t know the details,” Severin stated. He underlined once again that he did not commit any illegality, adding that the delay in the DNA prosecutors’ conclusions does not favour him. Severin pointed out that Slovenia’s Zoran Thaler, the fourth MEP involved in the 2011 row and who resigned complaining of psychological pressures, is in a similar stage of the ongoing investigations. Asked about the second case that DNA prosecutors opened against him in 2012, a case concerning the fact that he unlawfully facilitated persons close to him obtaining EUR 436,663 from the European Parliament’s budget, Severin stated that he no longer knows anything about the case after he was heard last July. ‘Sunday Times’ reporters offered to several MEPs – a Romanian, a Slovenian and an Austrian MP – EUR 100,000 in exchange for adopting several amendments. The three MEPs accepted, AFP informed at the time. Former Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Adrian Severin sent the alleged lobbyists an e-mail reading: “The amendment you wanted has been filed in time.” Shortly thereafter he sent an invoice of EUR 12,000 for “counseling services.”

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