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Disgraced ex-premier of Romania shoots self

A Romanian ex-prime minister shot and wounded himself Wednesday, hours after the country's highest court ruled that he must serve a two-year prison sentence on corruption charges, the country's current premier said. Media reports said he had shot himself in the neck.

Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase would be Romania's most senior politician to serve time in prison since the 1989 fall of communism. He had appealed a March 30 court ruling that sentenced him to jail for illegally raising funds for a failed presidential campaign, but the Supreme Court upheld the sentence, sending shockwaves through the country.

Late Wednesday, Prime Minister Victor Ponta, a close ally, visited Nastase at the hospital and said his condition was "under control."

"It is my right and obligation to visit him," Ponta said. "I couldn't stay at home without seeing what was wrong."

Ponta would not detail Nastase's wound, but the Antena 3 and Mediafax news agencies said he shot himself in the neck after police arrived at his home to arrest him.

Images broadcast on Antena 3 showed Nastase being brought out of an ambulance into the hospital on a stretcher covered with a blue blanket. His lawyer, Ion Cazacu, said Nastase was conscious when he saw him at the hospital.

"I spoke to him after the court ruling, and he was calm and responsible," Cazacu added.

Nastase, who will be 62 on Friday, has insisted that the case against him is politically motivated and indicated he will take it to the European Court of Human Rights. He has claimed the sentence was unjust, and that his exhausting eight-year trial felt like a prison sentence of its own.