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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 17:03 GMT
Paedophile freed for Dracula book
Kurt Treptow
Kurt Treptow served nearly five years in jail (pic: PRO IMAGE)
An American historian jailed in Romania for paedophile offences has been released more than two years early because he wrote a book about Dracula.

According to the law, Kurt Treptow was entitled to early release because his writing counted as work in prison.

He published a book about Vlad III Dracul, the Romanian prince who inspired the Dracula legend.

Mr Treptow had served nearly five years of his seven-year sentence for "sexual relations with minors".

His lawyer, Liviu Bran, denied that he wrote the book to get out of prison, saying that a board of historians had reviewed it and concluded it was an "original scientific piece of work".

Political connections

In 2002 Mr Treptow was convicted of having sex with two underage girls and possession of child pornography. A Romanian woman accomplice, Tatiana Popovici, is still in jail.

At the time of his arrest in 2002, Mr Treptow was director of the Centre for Romanian Studies in Iasi.

It was housed in a building belonging to the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE).

Mr Treptow had been a Fulbright scholar in Romania before 1989, during the communist regime.

He wrote a book on the Romanian dictator, Ion Antonescu, who had been an ally of the Nazis during World War II.

After 1990 he was close to the left-wing government of former President Ion Iliescu and especially to Ioan Talpes, a former head of the SIE and chief presidential adviser.

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