Top Romanian lawmaker in corruption probe resigns

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2014 7:30 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A key lawmaker in Romania has quit Parliament after prosecutors announced they are seeking his arrest on suspicion of influence peddling two weeks before a presidential election.

Viorel Hrebenciuc, deputy speaker and a senior member of the governing Social Democratic Party, stepped down Tuesday, saying he wanted to maintain his "dignity." He said he would run for Parliament again.

Party leader and Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who is favorite to win the Nov. 2 election, praised the move, saying he had taken "the justice (system) out of the electoral campaign."

Prosecutors want to investigate Hrebenciuc on suspicion he used his influence to propose an amnesty law that could benefit him in another case where he is suspected of using his influence in the illegal restitution of land seized by communists.