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US bans entry of Romania's ruling party ex-leader convicted for corruption

US bans entry of Romania's ruling party ex-leader convicted for corruption Liviu Dragnea, PSD leader

BUCHAREST (Romania), September 6 (SeeNews) - Liviu Dragnea, the jailed ex-leader of Romania's governing Social Democrat Party (PSD), and his two children were prohibited from entering the United States after his conviction on corruption charges was upheld, the State Department said.

"Secretary Michael R. Pompeo is publicly designating the former Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, due to his involvement in significant corruption," the US Department of State said in a press release on Thursday.

The interdiction also applies to immediate family members, namely his two children - Valentin Stefan Dragnea and Maria Alexandra Dragnea.

"Today’s action sends a strong signal that the United States is committed to fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Romania," the State Department said.

On May 27, Romania's High Court of Cassation and Justice upheld the prison sentence of Dragnea, who was convicted in 2018 on charges of corruption. Dragnea has appealed the three-and-a half year prison sentence he was given by a lower court for providing fictitious employment to two PSD members at Teleorman Child Protection Department but the higher court rejected the appeal.

According to the case file, Dragnea had pushed for the employment of the PSD members who received payment without actually working at the public institution.

The verdict of the High Court of Cassation came after PSD suffered a defeat at the May 26 elections for European Parliament in Romania.