Caught by a corruption scandal that had splashed the European Parliament five years, former MEP Adrian Severin, a Romanian who openly defended the interests of Azerbaijan in the Strasbourg Assembly, was sentenced to a term of 3 years and 3 months in prison in Romania for trying to make changes to the legislation of the European Union in exchange for the sum of 100 000 euros, the Sunday Times reported.
The case, known as the “scandal of laws against cash” was stale in 2011 at the initiative of a team of journalists from the Sunday Times who had been posing as lobbyists and had proposed the money under this coverage to some 60 European parliamentarians who had to accept in part against adopting amendments carving in breach laws protecting bank customers in Europe. A. Severin, a former foreign minister of Romania, Zoran Thaler, former Foreign Minister of Slovenia and Ernst Strasser, former Foreign Minister of Austria had accepted the agreement and had fallen into the trap set by journalists , according to EurActiv group. As a result, the European Parliament, in a press release issued on 21 March 2011, had stated that “the national Department anti-corruption Romania was initiating proceedings against Severin on the basis of charges that between December 2010 and March 2011, he would have accepted to receive the sum of 100 000 euros proposed by representatives of a fictitious lobbying group ‘Taylor Jones Public Affairs’ (created from scratch for the occasion by the Sunday Times) “in exchange he would have committed to vote for amendments that would be favorable to them and reject those that are contrary to the interests of the group claimed they were supposed to represent.
The FOCUS News Agency reported that a video filmed by hidden camera by journalists shows the member agreeing to receive 4,000 euros per day for the mission entrusted to him. These overwhelming evidence encourage the European Parliament to lift the parliamentary immunity of A.Severin. After spending the agreement, A. Severin would have asked one of his colleagues who were not in the proposed amendment combines the false lobbyists had asked him to endorse. EurActiv reported an email sent by A. Severin reporters “just to let you know that you want the amendment was submitted on time”, followed by a mark of 12 000 euros charge for expected benefits ” services requested. “ A. Severin will defend later by saying he had done nothing illegal. But the political scandal could not be avoided.
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Parliament launched an investigation into the corruption to punish parliamentarians involved. But as OLAF that ethical codes and conducts of the European Parliament highlighted the misuse of public funds rather than lobbying practices of a private group, it was also false. Also, the issue should be settled within the framework of the legislation of the countries of the parliamentarians concerned. Moreover, the press has reported excluding Severin of the Socialist Group in 2011, which did not prevent him to retain his seat in the European Parliament and to the normal end of his term in 2014. According to the Lawyer Herald, a site of legal, a conviction of Adrian Severin for bribes was possible under the Romanian Penal Code. Various media were quick to point out that MEPs involved were lobbying at the service of different powers.
Thus, the Russian Service of Radio France Internationale A.Severin had designated as a “stated lawyer of Azerbaijan”. The positions of A.Severin for Azerbaijan appeared with evidence when voting or written questions concerning this country, and the member makes no secret of his website. Already in 2008, in response to a speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for Trade and European Neighbourhood Policy, in which she spoke about the Georgian crisis, and was part of the EU’s commitment to support Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova and integrity and territorial sovereignty, A.Severin issued a protest deploring “the omission of Azerbaijan in the speech of Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner.” In the process, he had asked the Commission to say whether it was “willing to prepare a plan to advance its relations and cooperation with Azerbaijan”.
In 2013, the Romanian MEP had sent another written question to the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy. In this issue, he stressed that “Azerbaijan has an important regional role in the areas of energy security, the economy, geostrategy and culture.” He also made an inquiry about the “alternative” to the EU to set “the basis of a strategic partnership with Azerbaijan, including a statement of a clear and unanimous support of the EU’s territorial integrity Azerbaijan, at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius “. He asked the Commission whether the EU was willing to sign an agreement on easing the visa regime with Azerbaijan. A.Severin is e last protagonists of the scandal to be sent to prison.
Ernst Strasser was sentenced to four years in 2013, Thaler and two and a half years in 2014. But for their part, unlike the Romanian politician, they had given up their seat when the scandal broke. But many other political leaders of different countries, the European Parliament and even the Council of Europe, continue with impunity to serve the interests of Azerbaijan, succumbing to his “caviar diplomacy” and oil, two commodities hit by the crisis yet today, caviar because of restrictions on sturgeon fishing in the Caspian and oil due to the sudden drop in its international prices, which hit hard the Azerbaijani economy which is heavily dependent.
Gari © armenews.com