Romania PM Charged With Corruption | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Romania PM Charged With Corruption

Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 9:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been charged with several counts of corruption in a long-running investigation, prosecutors said.

He faces charges of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering dating back to when he was a lawyer before he became prime minister in 2012, the country’s anti-corruption agency DNA said.

Some of his property has been seized pending the outcome of the case, the agency added.

Mr. Ponta denies any wrongdoing.

Mr. Ponta resigned as leader of the governing Social Democratic party on Sunday, saying he needed time to prepare his defence, but will continue to fulfil his duties as prime minister.

He is accused of receiving the equivalent of around €55,000 (£40,000) from a political ally and Member of Parliament.

Mr. Ponta returned to work last Thursday following a month-long stay in Turkey for a knee operation.

When the DNA agency began investigating Mr. Ponta several weeks ago, President Klaus Iohannis immediately called on him to resign, report said.

He refused, and opposition attempts to suspend his parliamentary immunity failed due to the majority enjoyed by the Social Democrats and their supporters in parliament.

Now investigators believe they have enough evidence to formally charge the prime minister, report said.

Hundreds of top officials have been convicted of fraud in recent years, as the DNA agency continues its drive to rid Romania of its reputation for corruption.

Many of those targeted claim that the case against them is politically motivated.