Romania: Interior Minister Resigns Over Embezzlement Case

Romanian Interior Minister Petre Toba resigned Thursday after anti-corruption prosecutors requested for the country’s president to allow them to open an investigation into his alleged blocking of an embezzlement probe.

petretoba1Petre Toba (Photo: Government of Romania)Prosecutors accused Toba on Thursday of meddling by refusing to declassify documents needed for an investigation into alleged embezzlement by a former minister and officials of the Department of Intelligence and Internal Protection (DIPI), which is overseen by the interior ministry.

The case, which went to court in May, centres on accusations that former interior minister Gabriel Oprea and DIPI officials defrauded the state of 410,000 Romanian lei (US$ 102,867).

Romanian law stipulates that an investigation can only be launched into a minister with the president’s approva, Reuters reported.

Toba denies any wrongdoing, and has labeled the accusations against him as politically motivated. He said his Thursday resignation was in order to “avoid dragging the ministry into a public scandal.”