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March 27, 2023

District 5 Court decides Adrian Severin can be released on parole; decision not final

The District 5 Court admitted on Monday the parole request lodged by former MEP Adrian Severin, sentenced to four years in prison for passive bribery and influence peddling, however the decision is not final.

The District 5 Court’s decision is not final.

In the documents he lodged with the court, Adrian Severin claims that he meets the parole conditions required by law, namely good behaviour in detention and the serving of at least a third of the punishment.

“He was a disciplined person. He wrote scientific papers, he did not benefit from the reduction of prison time based on his papers or work. He behaved appropriately during his detention. We consider that prolonging the detention would not do any good to humanity,” Alexandra Dogaru, Adrian Severin’s lawyer, stated on Monday.

She added that Adrian Severin is a university professor and his students are waiting for him.

Asked what disciplines did Adrian Severin teach in the penitentiary, the lawyer said he taught “literacy courses,” gave conferences, organised debates and contributed to the penitentiary’s magazine.

“He constantly helped the convicts who did not know the Romanian language and who were unable to fit in the penitentiary environment, he helped them adapt more easily,” the lawyer said.

Asked for her response to the prosecutors’ statement that Adrian Severin did not work in prison, the lawyer claimed that the ex-MEP has a labour contract and did work, but not all the time, “because of health problems.”

Former MEP Adrian Severin had asked the District 5 Court to be released on parole, after serving almost four months out of the four-year prison sentence he received for passive bribery and influence peddling.

The Supreme Court found Adrian Severin guilty for passive bribery and influence peddling on 16 November 2016, and sentenced him to four years in prison. From December 2010 to March 2011, Adrian Severin accepted the promise of EUR 100,000 annually, a promise made by two Sunday Times undercover journalists, in return for filing amendments within the European Parliament’s special committees.

At the time of the journalistic investigation, three MEPs – Adrian Severin, former Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler, and former Austrian Interior Minister Ernst Strasser – were alleged to have accepted “selling their services” to journalists from ‘The Sunday Times,’ who claimed to be lobbyists. The journalists promised them yearly payments of EUR 100,000 in return for the MEPs’ “help” in the adoption of some amendments.


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