[JURIST] The Romanian Parliament [official website] on Wednesday voted to allow prosecutors to investigate prominent politician Elena Udrea [official website, in Romanian] on suspicion of corruption. A parliamentary committee voted [AP report] 20-1 to launch a formal criminal investigation of Udrea, who is accused of taking bribes, making false statements and unlawfully obtaining monies from the EU. Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate [official website] issued a press release [text] Wednesday in the wake of the parliamentary decision, outlining the allegations against Udrea. Udrea has denied the allegations.
Romania is one of the most corrupt nations in the EU, ranking [TI profile] 69 out of the 177 nations globally according the watchdog group Transparency International [advocacy website]. Earlier this week Romania’s Bucharest Appeals Court [official website, in Romanian] sentenced [JURIST report] Judge Mircea Moldovan to 22 years in prison for several instances of taking bribes from wealthy Romanian businessman in exchange for ruling in their favor in court. In January 2014 the European Commission released [JURIST report] its semi-annual Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report on Romania, warning the nation to end political pressure on the judiciary amid continuing concerns over corruption.