Why has Dan Voiculescu been released?

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Bucharest Tribunal motivated the decision to release tycoon Dan Voiculescu from prison last week. Voiculescu was serving a ten-year prison sentence at Rahova Penitentiary in Bucharest in a mega-corruption case related to the fraudulent privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA).

The magistrates claimed both Voiculescu’s behavior behind bars, where “he had several rewards”, “had a respectful behavior for the prison staff” and has served one third of the sentence, and also his old age.

The judges also considered that the magnate has worked in the penitentiary, with 387 prison days considered served due to the workload during detention and that he has never had any sanction or any conflict with the other prisoners. They say he has been rewarded 12 times.

The judges have also taken into account Voiculescu’s psychological evaluation, which said he poses no risks for emotional instability and that he is cooperative.

The court relied on the old Criminal code stipulating that prisoners older than 60 can be released on parole of they served one third of the total sentence which is not higher than 10 years.

Regarding the prosecutor’s arguments pointing to the fact that the prejudice in this case have not been recovered, the Bucharest Tribunal argued that paying the prejudice “is no legal standard to review the behavior in detention”.

Anti-corruption prosecutors have appealed the decision to release Voiculescu on parole, questioning his scientific activity in detention. Dan Voiculescu wrote 11 books in 12 months, which would be impossible in prosecutors’ view.

Yet, judges concluded that, failing an expert evaluation of the books’ authenticity, this can be no reason to veto the request for release on parole.

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