Romanian former PM accused of corruption over Tony Blair visit

Author(s): Patrick Wintour | Date: September 6, 2016 | Language: English
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/ | URL: http://goo.gl/NG8MH5 | Type: text

The former Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial corruption relating to a visit by Tony Blair in 2012.

Romanian state prosecutors questioned Ponta on Tuesday about allegations that he misused his authority as leader of the Social Democratic party to persuade Blair to come to Romania.

They accuse Ponta of offering Sebastian Ghita, a local businessman, a seat in parliament in exchange for paying €220,000 (£184,000) to cover the costs of a visit by a political figure. Ghita told the Mediafax news agency that this figure was Blair.

Prosecutors said Ponta arranged the visit so it looked as if it had been initiated and organised by non-political groups, and that he benefited from press coverage of the visit.

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