BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (BNO NEWS) — Former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Năstase attempted suicide on Wednesday evening, just hours after the country’s highest court upheld his two-year prison sentence on corruption charges, officials said. He remains in intensive care.
Năstase, 61, took his 9 mm gun and shot himself when police arrived at his house in the capital Bucharest to take him to prison. Romania’s highest court had just upheld his two-year prison sentence for organizing a conference with participation fees that helped finance his presidential campaign in 2000. He denied these charges and claimed the case is politically motivated.
After the attempted suicide, Năstase was rushed to the emergency room at the Floreasca Emergency Hospital in Bucharest and remained in a critical but stable condition on Thursday. Doctors said the bullet had traveled through his neck, narrowly missed a major artery and hit his larynx without affecting his vocal chords before exiting his neck on the other side.
Năstase underwent surgery on Thursday morning and his condition is being complicated by heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Doctors expect the former prime minister will remain in hospital for several weeks, and his lawyers have asked the court to postpone his sentence for up to three months.
Meanwhile, the son of the former prime minister, Andrei, said in a post on the social networking website Facebook that his father had left a suicide note before he shot himself. He said he would read the letter, which he described as a ‘public will’, to journalists after visiting his father at the hospital on Friday.
“I want everyone to join me, bypassing any political reasons, and listen to the legacy of the man who for me is a father before a politician,” Andrei wrote on his Facebook page. “I think my father now, more than ever, needs to know that he is not alone.”
Năstase served as prime minister from December 2000 until December 2004. He was also sentenced to a three-year suspended jail term in January after he was convicted of blackmail for taking some some 630,000 euros ($ 841,000) in bribes from a construction company owner in exchange for appointing her head of the Construction Inspectorate. He was cleared of graft.