Romania party chief gets 2-year suspended sentence for fraud

A Romanian court has handed a two-year suspended prison sentence to the chairman of Romania's main party for fraud in a referendum to impeach Romania's former president.

Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, lost his appeal Friday when the High Court of Cassation and Justice doubled the sentence of a lower court. The ruling is final.

He is convicted of inflating voter numbers at a July 2012 referendum to impeach former President Traian Basescu. The referendum failed because turnout was too low. More than 50 percent of the eligible voters need to participate for such a referendum to be valid.

Dragnea had denied wrongdoing.

Two other people were given prison sentences of two years each and 20 others were acquitted.