Bucharest: Romania`s former prime minister Adrian Nastase, sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for his role in two corruption cases, was released from prison on Thursday.
Nastase was met by his two sons and several journalists as he left Jilava prison, close to Bucharest, after a tribunal in the town of Ilfov dismissed a prosecution appeal to keep him behind bars.
Head of the social democrat government from 2000 to 2004, the 64-year-old former premier had served one third of his sentence in total, allowing him conditional release under Romanian law.
"I am a target for all sides. I hope that those who consider me as a political foe... realise that they also had nothing to gain," Nastase said after his release.
The former leader was sentenced in January after being implicated in a case concerning bribes and kickbacks totalling 630,000 euros ($835,000), which he received in the form of imports from China and free work on two of his properties.
Nastase has always denied involvement in the case, claiming the charges against him are politically motivated.