Businessman Dan Voiculescu, serving a 10-year prison sentence, released on parole

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Businessman Dan Voiculescu was released on parole, after he had served only one third of his jail time in the ICA file, the Bucharest Tribunal ruled on Tuesday. The ruling is final.

Right after being released from prison on Tuesday afternoon, Voiculescu stated that he had lost three years of his life and that he has lived like in a fish bowl. He said that in order to survive behind bars he had his eyes closed a lot and has made his own fish bowl.

Regardless of words, I lost three years of my life. Nobody can give these years back to me, even if Basescu goes to jail. When I was in prison, I had two strong feelings. The first was an eyelid pain-the reason is that I used to keep my eyes closed a lot, I have created my own fish bowl where I managed to survive. The second feeling is unendurable for 12 families had to suffer because of me,” Voiculescu told journalists after the release.

On August 13, 2014, the Bucharest Court of Appeal sentenced businessman Dan Voiculescu to 10 years in prison in connection to the case involving the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA).

The Bucharest Tribunal discussed Voiculescu’s request for release on parole on July 11. This is the second court where his request had been filed. Initially, the former tycoon asked the District 5 Court to release him, and the magistrates have indeed decided that he can be released from prison.

However, the Rahova Penitentiary, where Voiculescu is imprisoned, has challenged the decision.

Voiculescu is currently admitted to the University Hospital in Bucharest. He was hospitalized last Friday after allegedly suffering of bowel obstruction. Medical sources told media that the former senator must undergo surgery, but he hasn’t been operated so far.

The District 5 Court explained the decision to set the former magnate free by saying he had a positive behavior, he has never been punished and has even been rewarded. Judges also claimed that the fact the prejudice hasn’t been paid is not a legal standard of assessing the behavior in detention.

Judges have also argued that Dan Voiculescu had stayed in prison for 1,408 days out in those 3,653 in the sentence, and 387 had been considered as served based on the provided work. Thus, magistrates considered the condition on serving at least one third of the jail time from the sentence has been met.

The anti-corruption prosecutor pleading against Voiculescu’s release in the hearing last week said in the courtroom that the businessman had not showed signs of correction in prison and he is not qualified for release at the moment.

The prosecutor also argued that there is a huge disproportion between those 56 days earned by Dan Voiculescu for the work in the penitentiary and the other 330 days granted for the works he has written.

Voiculescu had no deserving behavior, but a normal one typical to any convicted person. The defendant has not paid the prejudice in the file and not even the judiciary expenses to the Romanian state,” the prosecutor pointed out.

On the other side, Voiculescu’s lawyer, Florian Surghie said that the businessman had a normal behavior in detention and that he had been rewarded 12 times and this is a proof of correction.

The defender added that Dan Voiculescu hasn’t paid the prejudice in the ICA file because his entire fortune is seized and has no money available, except for his pension.

Dan Voiculescu cannot pay the prejudice, for his fortune and his daughters’ is seized (….) I would look at Dan Voiculescu like a 71-year-old person who has stayed in prison for almost 3 years. He is a respected university professor. Dan Voiculescu was wrong and was punished. He is a 71-year-old man who is suffering in detention,” the lawyer argued.

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