Prosecutors charged Romania’s former Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu on Monday with “demanding and indirectly receiving material goods worth $800,000” from an Austrian company between 2007 and 2008.
In exchange, the politician is suspected of having used his power as prime minister to push “a series of decisions favorable to the company”, the National Directorate Against Corruption said in a statement.
Tariceanu, who is 69 and currently does not hold any political office, was leader of the National Liberal Party, PNL, and ran the country as a prime minister between December 2004 and December 2008.
He left the PNL in 2014 and a year later founded the Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats of Romania, ALDE, a centrist party that was a minor coalition partner in the Social Democratic-led government formed in Romania in January 2017.
Between 2017 and December 2020, Tariceanu was the speaker of the Senate.
As an MP, Tariceanu enjoyed parliamentary immunity from prosecution. In June 2019, the Senate then dominated by the Social Democrats voted against lifting Tariceanu’s immunity.
That meant prosecutors had to wait until he ceased to be an MP to launch a criminal investigation into the alleged bribery.