Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta to stand trial on corruption charges

Romania’s prime minister has been charged with corruption and will stand trial.

Victor Ponta was formally indicted on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the anti-corruption prosecutors’ office.

The case will now be handled by the country’s top court.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta to stand trial on corruption charges

Ponta will not be arrested, spokeswoman Livia Sapalcan told The Associated Press.

The 42-year-old has also refused to resign, saying he wants to remain prime minister until the December 2016 parliamentary election.

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said the development was “more and more problematic” for Ponta and the government, and was harming Romania’s international image.

Prosecutors first indicted Ponta in July on charges including tax evasion, money-laundering, conflict of interest and making false statements while he was working as a lawyer in 2007 and 2008. He denies wrongdoing.

He is the first sitting Romanian prime minister to be indicted and have his assets seized.

Four other people are also indicted and will stand trial in the same case.

Prosecutors say Ponta forged expense claims from the law firm of political ally Dan Sova, who has also been indicted. They say he pretended to work as a lawyer to justify getting money from the law firm. The funds were used to pay for two luxury apartments and the use of a motor vehicle.

Prosecutors say after Ponta became prime minister in May 2012, he appointed Sova as a minister three times, which constituted a conflict of interest.

Ponta stepped down as head of the ruling Social Democratic Party on July 12.

More in this Section

Spacewalking astronauts add parking spot to space stationSpacewalking astronauts add parking spot to space station

UK Government facing calls to create ‘safe zones’ outside every UK abortion clinicUK Government facing calls to create ‘safe zones’ outside every UK abortion clinic

South African court restricts display of apartheid-era flagSouth African court restricts display of apartheid-era flag

Thousands sign up for Brexit party on Dutch beachThousands sign up for Brexit party on Dutch beach


Lifestyle

Gardaí have issued a warning about a text message scam that is designed to gain access to personal bank accounts.Gardaí issue warning abour 'smishing' scam designed to gain access to bank accounts

Up your veggie curry game with this delicious recipe.How to make Jamie Oliver’s stuffed curried aubergines

Riccardo Tisci has unveiled his Tempest collection, featuring a diverse cast of models.Is this Burberry’s most inclusive campaign yet? See pictures from the autumn/winter shoot

In search of close animal encounters, Sarah Marshall joins ‘Bear Whisperer’ Gary Zorn on a new adventure in Canada’s Cariboo Mountains.Glamping with grizzlies: Would you spend the night camping with bears?

More From The Irish Examiner