Prosecutors probe corruption claims against Romanian MEP
(BUCHAREST) - Romanian anti-graft prosecutors said Monday they had opened an investigation into corruption allegations against a member of the European Parliament, Adrian Severin.
"The anti-corruption prosecutor's office (DNA) is looking into bribery allegations concerning Adrian Severin," DNA spokeswoman Livia Saplacan told AFP.
The Social-Democrat MEP said he was willing to cooperate with investigators, "provided they have the competence to open such an inquiry."
The European Parliament on Monday opened an investigation after Britain's Sunday Times reported that three MEPs -- Austria's Ernst Strasser, Zoran Thaler of Slovenia and Romania's Severin -- had accepted offers of up to 100,000 euros ($141,000) per year in exchange for proposing amendments in the EU legislature.
Although both Strasser and Thaler had initially claimed they knew all along that the bribe offer was a sham, they have announced their resignations.
But Severin said he had no intention to follow suit, arguing he had done nothing "illegal or against any normal behaviour we have here".
According to the Times, Severin "emailed the reporters saying: 'Just to let you know that the amendment desired by you has been tabled in due time,' then sent an invoice for 12,000 euros for 'consulting services'."
Severin has nevertheless suspended himself from the vice-presidency of the opposition Social-Democrat Party, pending the outcome of the European parliament's investigation.
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