Romanian ex-PM attempts suicide as jailers arrive
BUCHAREST, (Reuters) – Former Romanian prime minister Adrian Nastase tried to kill himself yesterday when police came to take him to start a two-year jail term for corruption, a case touted by Romania as proof that it is getting tough on graft.
Nastase appeared to have attempted suicide when police arrived at his house in an upmarket part of the capital to take him to prison, the Bucharest Court of Cassation and Justice said in a statement.
A Reuters witness saw the 61-year-old, who was prime minister from 2000 to 2004, being stretchered from the house and taken away in an ambulance. Local media reported he had shot himself with a pistol and was wounded in the neck.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta, a party ally of Nastase’s, rushed to the hospital where he was being treated. “I could not stay away,” he said. “Doctors told me the situation is under control.”
The Supreme Court had earlier confirmed Nastase would have to serve two years in jail, surprising many who thought politicians were still above the law in Romania.
The failure to tackle endemic corruption in Romania and neighbouring Bulgaria, the EU’s two newest and poorest members, has led to both being blocked from joining the passport-free Schengen zone