Former MEP Adrian Severin was released on parole after he served one year and three months out of a four-year prison sentence ruled against him for passive bribery and influence peddling. The decision, taken by the Bucharest Court on Wednesday, is final.
Through the decision it took on Wednesday, the Bucharest Court upheld the decision that the Bucharest District 5 Court adopted on January 22.
In the documents he lodged with the court, Adrian Severin claimed he meets the legal conditions for release on parole, namely good behaviour in prison but also the fact that he has served at least a quarter of the punishment.
“He was disciplined. He wrote scientific papers, he did not benefit from the shaving off of prison days on the basis of the papers [written] or labour. He behaved appropriately during the period of detention. We consider that extending his detention would do no good to humanity,” Alexandra Dogaru, Adrian Severin’s lawyer, stated at the time.
She added that Adrian Severin is a university professor and his students are waiting for him.
Asked what classes he taught in the penitentiary, the lawyer said he taught “literacy classes,” gave conferences, organised debates and contributed to the penitentiary’s magazine.
“He constantly helped out the convicts who did not speak Romanian and could not fit in, he helped them adapt easier,” the lawyer said.
Asked about the fact 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.”
The Supreme Court found Adrian Severin guilty of 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 “to sell 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.