Romanian senate votes against lifting senator's immunity in corruption probe, criticized by US

A bid to lift the immunity of a senator from the ruling party who prosecutors say is suspected of corruption has fallen short in a parliamentary vote.

Senators voted 79-67 Wednesday in favor of lifting the immunity of Dan Sova, a former transportation minister, falling short of the 85 votes required.

The vote was criticized by the U.S., British and Dutch embassies in Romania who said the legislature should not prevent anti-corruption probes.

Prosecutors want to arrest Sova on suspicion that as a senator he illegally earned 3.5 million lei ($870,000) as a lawyer in the privatization of several electricity companies in his constituency and destroyed computer files to cover his tracks. He denies wrongdoing.

After the vote, Sova quit leadership positions he held in the ruling Social Democratic Party.