Romania PM To Face Corruption Trial | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Romania PM To Face Corruption Trial

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta is to be tried by the country’s top court after he was formally indicted on several counts of corruption.

Mr. Ponta, who prosecutors said will not be arrested, has repeatedly denied the claims since he was charged in July.

He will be the first prime minister in Romania to stand trial while in office.

He faces charges of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering dating back to his days as a lawyer before he was elected prime minister in 2012.

President Klaus Iohannis, who has previously called on Mr. Ponta to resign, said Romania’s image would suffer because of the case.

“In my view, the situation is more and more problematic for the prime minister, for the government and for the Social Democrat Party,” Mr. Iohannis told reporters on Thursday.

A spokesman for Mr. Ponta said the government would make a comment later on Thursday.

Four other people have also been indicted in the case and will also stand trial.

Mr. Ponta has resisted calls to resign and so far has the backing of his leftist party and its allies to stay in power.

However, the indictment comes at a delicate time for his government, having already been wounded by a shock presidential election defeat last November and facing a general election in 2016.

Hundreds of top officials have been convicted of fraud in recent years, as the country’s anti-corruption agency continues its drive to rid Romania of corruption.

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