Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastaste has sued the president and prime minister after an award he received for his efforts to help Romania join NATO and the European Union was taken away due to graft.
Nastase who served two prison sentences for corruption-related offenses, as one of twelve former senior officials with convictions who lost prestigious national honors in December 2019.
Nastase, 69, who was prime minister from 2000 to 2004 called the move „small minded.”
He filed a lawsuit against President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at the Bucharest Appeal Court in March to contest the decree withdrawing his award. But the coronavirus pandemic meant the court was only judging urgent cases, Agerpres national news agency reported.
Iohannis stripped him of his award, and it was unclear why he was suing Orban.
He lost the “Star of Romania” honor following public outrage about his presence at the National Day reception.
He qualified for the invite because people who have been decorated by the president are automatically invited to the reception.
The law allows for decorations to be removed if someone is subsequently sentenced to prison, as happened in Nastase’s and the other cases.
Nastase received 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.