Romanian Parliament approves prosecution of ex-minister suspected of bribery, money-laundering

The Romanian Parliament has approved the prosecution of a former tourism minister who prosecutors are seeking to arrest on suspicion of bribery and money laundering.

Lawmakers voted 193 to 106 Wednesday to allow the prosecution of Elena Udrea, who was once one of the country's most influential politicians. They will later vote on whether to approve her arrest.

Udrea was tourism and regional development minister from 2008 to 2012. Prosecutors said she is suspected of receiving $3.8 million in 2012 from a businessman in the energy sector in exchange for allowing him to control an electricity provider. Prosecutors said she is also suspected of making false statements, influence peddling and abusing her position.

Udrea, who denies wrongdoing, claims prosecutors are meddling in politics and harming Romania's image.