World

Ex-Romanian president faces criminal probe for threats to political rival during his mandate

  • Former Romanian President Traian Basescu arrives at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to Senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (Vadim Ghirda)

    Former Romanian President Traian Basescu arrives at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to Senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Romanian President Traian Basescu, third from left, speaks facing protesters after arriving at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Former Romanian President Traian Basescu, third from left, speaks facing protesters after arriving at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester holds a depiction of former President Traian Basescu as a prisoner before his arrival at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    A protester holds a depiction of former President Traian Basescu as a prisoner before his arrival at the prosecutor's office in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Prosecutors have informed Basescu he is under a criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to senator Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival. The investigation did not start while Basescu was still in office because he had immunity from prosecution as president. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors have informed former Romanian President Traian Basescu that he is under criminal investigation for making threatening remarks to a senator.

Basescu appeared before prosecutors for about 25 minutes Wednesday, where he was informed about the blackmail probe initiated by Sen. Gabriela Vranceanu Firea, a political rival.

Prosecutors said Basescu asked for time for his lawyers to study the file. Some 20 protesters gathered outside the prosecutor's office yelling: "Basescu, to prison with you!" He was president from 2004 to 2014.

Last year, while Basescu was still president, Vranceanu Firea accused Basescu's elder daughter of fraud related to a property restitution case. Basescu then publicly warned Firea Vranceanu to "be careful," saying one day she might not find her husband at home.