Romanian lawmakers vote to allow arrest of ex-minister

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2015 12:37 PM

BUCAHREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian lawmakers have voted to allow the arrest of a former tourism minister, a close aide of an ex-president, on suspicion of taking a bribe.

Parliament approved the arrest of Elena Udrea in a 170-118 vote to be investigated on suspicion of illegally financing a boxing gala.

Udrea, who denies wrongdoing, told lawmakers Monday that while under arrest on suspicion of money laundering she had been stripped, her underwear taken away and she also complained she had to put a lid on the toilet to stop the rats swimming up.

Last week, she made a request to wallpaper and paint her cell. A court then ruled she could be put under house arrest.

One of the most influential politicians of the last decade, TV cameras have camped outside where the flamboyant lawyer lives in an upscale area north of the capital. Cameras followed her car, broadcasting live coverage of her traveling to Parliament on Monday.

The 41-year-old Udrea gained notoriety because of her close relationship with Traian Basescu, president from 2004 to 2014. She ran for president in November elections, finishing fourth.