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Romania: Ex-minister’s graft sentence suspended

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian supreme court has suspended the sentence of a former tourism minister who was convicted of bribery and official misconduct.

Elena Udrea fled Romania during her trial and received a six-year prison sentence in absentia. She was arrested in Costa Rica in October.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice is reviewing its verdicts since 2014 on request after Romania’s constitutional court ruled that one of the high court’s five judges wasn’t appointed properly.

Lawyer Veronel Radulescu asked Thursday for a suspension of Udrea’s sentence, saying the ex-minister recently had a baby.

Prosecutors said Udrea illegally sponsored a gala with ministry funds and took a 10 percent commission from boxers who fought a match for the event. She denied wrongdoing.

A connection with ex-President Traian Basescu bolstered Udrea’s political career.

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