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article imageRomanian prosecutors comb through party chief's assets

By AFP     Nov 22, 2017 in World

Romanian prosecutors said Wednesday that they were attempting to calculate the total amount of assets owned by Liviu Dragnea, the under-fire head of the country's ruling left-wing party.

"Examinations are ongoing to identify his assets," an anti-corruption prosecutor's office (DNA) statement said.

Late Tuesday the DNA said they were sequestering all "movable and immovable" property of the 55-year-old Dragnea, head of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD).

They were frozen as prosecutors attempt to claw back some 27.5 million euros ($32.4 million) in public funds allegedly siphoned off by Dragnea and eight others.

According to a declaration of assets by Dragnea, who is speaker of parliament, he owns far less than this. He has denied any wrongdoing.

He was found guilty of electoral fraud in 2016 and received a suspended two-year prison sentence.

The conviction means he was barred from running for premier after the PSD won elections last December, however he is widely acknowledged as being in charge.

Dragnea is also on trial for alleged abuse of power in a separate case. He has rejected the charges.

Romania joined the EU in 2007 and in recent years has been enjoying strong economic growth.

But both Brussels and the International Monetary Fund have pressed the government to do more to tackle graft.

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