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Romanian parliament panel votes not to allow probe of PM, suspected of money laundering

Roman's prime minister is boasting that he enjoys broad popular support as he faces a vote which could lift his immunity protection from a corruption probe.

Victor Ponta on Monday warned his opponents not to stage street protests. He said: "I understand they will bring 1,000 people. We can bring 10,000. If they bring 10,000, we can bring 100,000."

Last week, anti-corruption prosecutors said Ponta was suspected of corruption charges including being an accomplice to tax evasion from 2007 to 2008 while serving in Parliament, a conflict of interest and money laundering. Ponta said he would not resign.

Parliament is to vote Tuesday on whether to lift Ponta's immunity.

The prime minister got a boost on Monday as a parliamentary panel voted against allowing him to face a criminal investigation.