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Court sentences ex-minister to 5 years for abuse

January 27, 2014

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

Monica Iacob Ridzi, sports and youth minister in 2008-2009, resigned over the case. Prosecutors began an investigation in 2011.

They say Ridzi spent an estimated 640,000 euros ($870,000) on concerts for young people around Romania between March and May 2009, paying inflated prices and illegally contracting private companies for goods and services. She is also accused with another colleague of trying to delete allegedly incriminating e-mails.

Eleven other people are also on trial, but have not been sentenced. The high court ruling on Monday is not final and she can appeal. She has claimed the case is politically motivated.

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