BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Human rights and anti-corruption groups called Wednesday for an investigation into whether Romania's interior minister abused his position by using too many motorcades, amid anger at the death of a police officer escorting him.

Two groups made a request to the anti-corruption prosecutors' office after police officer Bogdan Gigina died when his motorbike hit a hole Oct. 20.

Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea went to the prosecutors' office Wednesday to give a statement as a witness in the case. He declined to answer reporters' questions.

The Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania-Helsinki Committee and the Academic Society in Romania said there were "reasonable suspicions" that Oprea had illegally benefited from the use of a police escort in traffic, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

The death has touched a nerve, with critics saying officials overuse motorcades in the crowded capital. There is also anger that it took Oprea six days to make his first public comments, following two days of protests.

Media reported that Oprea used police-escorted motorcades 1,500 times this year.

Oprea said he needed the motorcade for professional reasons. He has refused to resign.

Oprea got some support from former tennis star Ilie Nastase, who became a senator for Oprea's Union of Progress for Romania in July. Nastase said criticism should be directed at authorities in charge of Bucharest's streets, some of them in poor repair.

Oprea said he needed the motorcade for professional reasons. He has refused to resign.