: Former Romanian PM arrives at court to face charges of forgery and money-laundering
Politics11:37 Mar. 19, 2016

Former Romanian PM arrives at court to face charges of forgery and money-laundering

Victor Ponta stepped down in November amid a public outcry

Court proceedings continue against former Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Arriving at court in Bucharest, the 43-year-old waved away the media. He is on trial for crimes allegedly committed during his days as a lawyer before he was elected as head of government in 2012.

Ponta was first charged in August 2015. He faces charges of forgery, money-laundering and tax evasion.

Read also Romania PM indicted on charges of forgery, money laundering as part of corruption sweep

He is also accused of plagiarizing his doctoral thesis and of working as a spy for foreign intelligence services in the 90s.

When announced, the charges caused nationwide protests against Ponta's government. He repeatedly dismissed the accusations and initially resisted calls to resign.

But he finally stepped down last November. His close ally and former transport minister in his cabinet Dan Sova is also under investigation for corruption.

Victor Ponta was the youngest Premier to be elected in Romania. When charges against him emerged, president Klaus Iohannis called on him to resign.

Iohannis said the country's image would suffer because of the case. In recent years hundreds of top Romanian officials have been charged with corruption.

Their alleged crimes are investigated by the National anti-corruption agency. Many of those accused say cases against them are politically motivated.




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