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Former Romanian PM Sentenced To Jail For Graft

Former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase

Former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase

Romania's Supreme Court has sentenced former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase to two years in prison for corruption, in what is seen as a landmark conviction in the EU member country, which has prosecuted few senior officials.

Nastase denies any wrongdoing. He will remain free pending an appeal.

Nastase, who headed a leftist government between 2000 and 2004, was charged with siphoning off funds totaling 1.7 million euros ($2.2 million) for his 2004 election campaign.

The sentencing on January 30 comes weeks ahead of a report on the Romanian judiciary to be released by the European Commission.

The EU has repeatedly raised concerns about a failure to tackle corruption in Romania, and neighboring Bulgaria, the EU's newest members which have been blocked from joining the passport-free Schengen zone over the issue.

Compiled from agency reports