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Romanian court rules against arrest of lawmaker

December 27, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s top court has ruled that a lawmaker who has been charged with taking bribes and influence trafficking can remain free while being investigated.

The ruling by the High Court of Cassation and Justice late Friday set aside a vote by Parliament that Gheorghe Coman should be arrested and kept in custody during the probe.

But the court also said Coman, who has denied any wrongdoing, must remain in Romania.

Anti-corruption prosecutors have charged Coman, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, with taking bribes and influence peddling, saying he took money from people who were then appointed to key positions in government institutions. His party has suspended him.

Parliament has been criticized for approving amendments to the criminal code this month that would give its members and other elected government officials immunity from corruption charges while in office.

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