Romania PM targeted in anti-corruption probe

Prime Minister Victor PontaRomania’s prosecutors on Friday said they were launching a criminal probe into Prime Minister Victor Ponta for suspected involvement in tax evasion, money laundering and conflict of interest.

The prosecutors will file a formal request for the investigation with parliament, which would have to strip the premier of his immunity for the probe to proceed, said a statement from the country’s anti-corruption agency DNA.

The head of government is suspected of “forging documents … (and) continuous complicity in tax evasion” and money laundering when he was a lawyer in 2007, said the agency, which is part of the prosecutor’s office.

The case is linked to another corruption probe against his political ally Dan Sova, a member of parliament who briefly held the transport portfolio in the cabinet from March to June 2014.

“The situation is clear from my standpoint, policy is not set by the DNA, it is set by parliament,” Ponta said after meeting the prosecutors earlier on Friday.

The probe is the latest in a string of anti-corruption enquiries carried out by the powerful agency, probes that have led to the removal of several influential Romanians over the past months.

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