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Top European official backs high-profile Romania prosecutor

March 29, 2019

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Parliament chief has offered his support to a former top Romanian prosecutor who has been banned from leaving the country or talking to journalists as part of a probe.

The Romanian body that investigates prosecutors and magistrates announced the restrictions Thursday on Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former anti-corruption prosecutor who’s charged with heading a criminal group. She denies wrongdoing.

Kovesi is considered a front-runner to become Europe’s leading corruption-fighting official, despite opposition from Romania’s ruling Social Democracy Party.

As Romania’s chief anti-corruption official, she successfully prosecuted hundreds of lawmakers for graft. The government engineered her dismissal last year, claiming mismanagement.

EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Friday expressed concern about the situation, adding that Parliament “stands by its candidate” to head the European Prosecutor’s Office, a new office that will fight fraud.

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