Romanian health official detained on suspicion of bribery

AP News
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Posted: Aug 23, 2016 9:22 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Anti-corruption prosecutors have detained a senior Romanian health official on suspicion of paying bribes and influence peddling.

A court will rule later Tuesday whether Lazar Iordache, deputy chief of the National Medicine Agency, should be arrested for 30 days.

A statement said Iordache promised a health ministry official a cut of budgetary funds for two hospitals if he signed, and convinced other ministry officials to sign, certain projects connected to the hospitals. He is a board member of one of the hospitals.

He allegedly paid the unnamed person 126,000 lei ($32,000) in April from ministry funds he had access to. There was no immediate reaction from Iordache. The statement said the official he allegedly bribed reported him.

Bribery and informal payments are widespread in Romania's health system.