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Romanian PM moves amid snooping fears

Bucharest -

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Tuesday that he would work out of the Defence Ministry over fears that his phone may be tapped, after a call allegedly made from his office was cited in a corruption case.

Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Picture: Vadim Ghirda. Credit: Associated Press

“The transfer will definitely happen next week, I have already gone (to the ministry), I have an office,” he told journalists.

The move would foil any such “attempts by Traian Basescu”, he said, referring to the country's president and his arch-rival.

The prime minister added that he expected “a multitude of such attempts” in the run-up to November's presidential elections, when Basescu's second term is due to come to an end.

Ponta's decision, which sparked outrage in Romania, came after a regional chief from his party, Adrian Duicu, was arrested on corruption and abuse of power charges.

Prosecutors say that Duicu had promised to intervene in favour of a policeman during a phone call made from Ponta's office.

Ponta has denied receiving Duicu in his office and said he was unaware of the politician's actions.

He would however move to the defence ministry, as it offered better protection against eavesdroppers, he said. - Sapa-AFP

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