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Ex-minister gets 5 years prison for overspending on concerts

February 16, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A court has sentenced a former Romanian minister to five years prison for abusing her position and overspending public money on concerts for young people.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice sentenced Monica Iacob Ridzi Monday, a year after she was convicted. Her assistant was also sentenced to five years for abusing her position. Nine other people also received suspended sentences. The ruling is final.

Ridzi, Romania’s former sports and youth minister, resigned in 2009 over the case. An investigation began in 2011.

Prosecutors say Ridzi spent an estimated 3.12 million lei ($804,000) on concerts for young people between March and May 2009, paying inflated prices and illegally contracting private companies for goods and services. She is also accused with her assistant of trying to delete allegedly incriminating e-mails.

Ridzi was an ally of former President Traian Basescu.