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December 6, 2021
JUSTICE

Former MEP Adrian Severin sentenced to 4 years in prison, final and executory sentence

The High Court of Justice (ICCJ) on Wednesday sentenced former MEP Adrian Severin to 4 years in prison for passive bribery and influence peddling. The sentence is final and executory.

The court of first instance had sentenced Adrian Severin to 3 years and 3 months in prison, executory sentence.

During the trial, the prosecution asked the judge to sentence Adrian Severin to 6 years and 6 months in prison for passive bribery and to 5 years in prison for influence peddling, and to add a penalty increase.

On the other hand, Adrian Severin’s lawyers asked the judge to acquit the former MEP or to issue a suspended sentence, bearing in mind the fact that he suffers from an incurable disease.

Back in February, Adrian Severin was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison, executory sentence. He was found guilty of accepting, from December 2010 to March 2011, the promise of 100,000 Euros annually in return for filing amendments with the special commissions of the European Parliament and for voting against amendments that did not suit the interests of the company the persons promising to pay him claimed they were representing. The promise was made by two undercover journalists of ‘The Sunday Times.’

“Apart from the mentioned sum, there was also 4,000 Euros per day for any actions taken by the parliamentarian within the European Parliament in relation to the filing of amendments. During talks that took place from January to March 2011, Adrian Severin asked the two persons, in line with the agreement, for 12,000 Euros, suggesting he had influence over two members of the Judiciary Commission, over the rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commission and over another member of European Parliament, and could have determined them to table an amendment to the draft European Commission Directive on bank deposits guarantees, in line with the interests of the clients of the company that the two persons claimed to represent,” prosecutors show.

According to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), in order to collect the 12,000 Euros, Adrian Severin issued an invoice and mailed it to one of the two persons.

Three MEPs – Adrian Severin, Slovenia’s Zoran Thaler and Austria’s Ernst Strasser – allegedly accepted to “sell their services” to ‘The Sunday Times’ journalists who posed as lobbyists. The journalists promised several MEPs that they would pay them 100,000 Euros per year in return for their “help” in adopting some amendments.

According to investigators, Adrian Severin filed the amendment through the help of one colleague. When asked by one of the journalists whether it was easy for him to persuade his colleague to file the amendment, he answered that it was up to a point, but that he eventually accepted the idea, “however it was veritable work.”

The Slovenian and Austrian MEPs resigned from the European Parliament, thus giving up on their parliamentary immunity. In contrast, Adrian Severin refused to follow suit, claiming that it was “a frame-up organised by persons who acted like agents provocateur and with political motivation.”

 

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