Ex-Premier Adrian Nastase to sue president after he lost national award over corruption convictions

Adrian Năstase has blasted the Romanian presidency again after President Klaus Iohannis withdrew a national honor the former prime minister received for his efforts to help Romania join NATO and the European Union.

Nastase was one of twelve former senior officials with corruption convictions who lost their prestigious national honors last month.

Nastase, 69, who criticized the move at the time, now says he will sue the presidency over the „small minded” move.

In comments made to Antena 3 new channel late Thursday, Nastase said he was suing, claiming Iohannis had used “discretionary power” to take away his  “Star of Romania” award.

Iohannis signed a decree on December 11 to remove the awards  from a dozen former public officials following public outrage after Nastase was invited to the National Day reception.

Nastase, who served two prison sentences for corruption, received the invite because he had been decorated with the Order of the Star of Romania, with the rank of Grand Cross. Under Romanian law, people who have been decorated by the president are automatically invited to the National Day reception.

Romanian law also allows for decorations to be removed if someone is subsequently sentenced to prison, as happened in Nastase’s and the other cases.

Nastase was handed a two-year prison sentence in 2012 for misuse of a publicly funded conference to raise cash for his unsuccessful campaign in 2004. He was the first former Romanian prime minister to go to jail. He received a second sentence of four years for bribery in 2014.

Nastase received the award in 2002 for his efforts to help Romania join NATO and the European Union modernizing the economy and economic growth.

Nastase was prime minister from 2000 to 2004 and lost the presidential race that year to Traian Basescu, who served two terms in office.


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