Romanian Senate asked to approve bribe probe of its speaker

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian authorities have asked the Senate to lift the immunity of its speaker to allow an investigation into whether he took an $800,000 bribe from an Austrian company.

A Senate member, Claudiu Manda, said Thursday that prosecutors have asked the Senate to vote to strip Calin Popescu Tariceanu of the parliamentary immunity that protects him from prosecution.

The National Anti-Corruption Prosecutors Directorate confirmed it was seeking to investigate an unnamed senator in connection with the alleged bribe taken in 2007-2008, when Tariceanu was Romania’s premier.

A statement said the bribe represented a 10 percent commission on a contract. The money was allegedly transferred via fictitious contracts to offshore companies.

Tariceanu said Wednesday he hadn’t been notified of the development.

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