Romanian ruling party leader sentenced for inciting others to abuse of office

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The head of Romania’s ruling Social Democrat party, Liviu Dragnea, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the Supreme Court today for inciting others to abuse of office.

But he will not be jailed before an appeal. Dragnea, who is also speaker of the lower house, was found guilty of keeping two women on the payroll of a state agency in 2006-2013 even though they were employed by his party- a charge he denies. He was a county council chief at the time.

A fresh criminal conviction for Dragnea, who is already barred from becoming prime minister because of a previous conviction for vote-rigging, could weaken his grip on the country’s biggest party and the five-month-old government.

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