BUCHAREST (AFP) -After a record year of graft indictments in Roma-nia – many targeting the wealthy and powerful – the impunity once enjoyed by the country’s ruling class may be coming to an end.
The national anti-corruption prosecutor’s office DNA indicted 1,167 people in 2014, a record in its 12 years of existence.
The latest trophy for the prose-cutors is Elena Udrea, dubbed “the president’s blonde” by the media for her role as close advisor to former conservative president Traian Basescu.
The unsuccessful candidate in last year’s presidential race was locked up late Tuesday over her alleged role in a corruption scandal involving Microsoft licences that has already ensnared a number of high-profile figures.
DNA prosecutors have been busy in recent weeks probing a who’s who list of suspects that includes several former ministers, a Consti-tutional Court judge and even the head of the anti-mafia prosecutor’s office (DIICOT).
For several years now, a reform of Romania’s legal system overseen by Brussels has weakened the im-punity that a number of political leaders seemed to enjoy.
The bellwether corruption con-viction in 2012 of ex-prime minis-ter Adrian Nastase was a sign times were changing in EU’s second-poorest country.