Romanian prosecutors demand ex-tourism minister serves 12-year sentence for bribery, money laundering charges

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a 12-year jail term for a former tourism minister who’s charged with bribery and money laundering connected to a presidential campaign.

Prosecutors called for the sentence at the final hearing of the trial which began in 2017 in which Elena Udrea is a key figure, together with the daughter of Traian Basescu who was president from 2004 to 2014.

The hearing at the Bucharest Court of Appeal on Tuesday was postponed for several hours after a false bomb threat. The court was evacuated as explosive experts searched the building.

Prosecutors on Tuesday asked for a maximum 15-year sentence for Ioana Basescu, the daughter of the Romanian president.

They also asked for a prison sentence for Romanian journalist Dan Andronic.

It was unclear whether there was any connection between the threat and the hearing. The former minster, who was present at the hearing according to G4Media, denies wrongdoing.

Ms Udrea was sent to trial in 2017 on charges of instigating bribery and money laundering in connection with his 2009 presidential campaign..

Prosecutors said the former minister was the unofficial chief of Mr. Basescu’s campaign, which they allege was financed with money obtained through embezzlement and money laundering. She denies the charges.

A close ally of the Romanian leader, she was one of the most powerful figures in Romanian politics due to her personal relationship with Mr Basescu.

The hearing which was due to be held on January 8 was postponed after Ms Udrea said she had Covid-19.

The court will issue its verdict at an unspecified later date.


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