Why this story matters:
With new legislation threatening the independence of the justice system and crowds never far from the streets these days, Romania’s corruption problem is the key issue on which everything hinges.
It is therefore entirely worth noting that such a prominent member of the political elite was duly sentenced.
One condemnation is certainly not enough to be considered an improvement, but in these volatile times, there is no telling what would have happened if yet another double-dealing office-bearer had escaped justice thanks to powerful connections.
The details of the case
- In March 2014, Sandu Staicu, manager of Activ Invest Construct SRL company, was detained and charged with money laundering. Soon after, Dragoş Băsescu offered to use his political connections to help him get out of trouble in exchange for 500,000 euros. They later agreed on a higher sum -- 1,000,000 euros -- however paid over a period of up to two years.
- At the end of October 2015, Băsescu was charged with influence peddling. Recently, the court has found him guilty.
- Incidently, Băsescu will be imprisoned near Constanta, in the same penitentiary where Mircea Basescu, his father and president Basescu’s brother, also served for one year and three months (until September 2017).