Romanian prosecutors probe 'publishing in prison' law

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating whether prisoners who have benefited from a law reducing sentences for inmates who publish books had ghost writers, they said Tuesday.

The anti-corruption prosecutors' office said it was investigating whether university professors and others aided prisoners.

A statement cited the case of a 212-page book written by an unidentified prisoner in under seven hours. Prisoners have no access to the Internet or books.

Romanian news agency Hotnews reported the justice ministry confirmed that seven of the 10 books published by media mogul Dan Voiculescu since he has been in prison were written simultaneously. He was handed a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering and fraudulently privatizing an agricultural institute in August 2014.

Amid the furor, Justice Minister Raluca Pruna said Tuesday she would propose that the controversial law be scrapped via an emergency government ordinance.

The National Penitentiaries Administration says 188 detainees published 400 books from 2013-2015.

A former prime minister, a TV mogul and a football club owner are among those who have had their sentences reduced, with 30 days knocked off for each book published.

The reduction is subject to a judge's decision on whether the book merits a reward.

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