Europe

Romania: Ex-PM investigated over pre-election 'Blair' visit

  • FILE -  This is a  Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, file picture  of Romania's outgoing prime minister Victor Ponta as he exits after an appearance at the High Court for Cassation and Justice, in Bucharest. Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors said Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016 that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties connected to another political figure's 2012 visit to Bucharest. Prosecutors did not identify the prominent visitor, but a businessman who was questioned in the probe identified him as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

    FILE - This is a Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, file picture of Romania's outgoing prime minister Victor Ponta as he exits after an appearance at the High Court for Cassation and Justice, in Bucharest. Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors said Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016 that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties connected to another political figure's 2012 visit to Bucharest. Prosecutors did not identify the prominent visitor, but a businessman who was questioned in the probe identified him as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This is a Monday, May 28, 2012 file picture, of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves the High Court in London. Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors said Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016 that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties connected to another political figure's 2012 visit to Bucharest. Prosecutors did not identify the prominent visitor, but a businessman who was questioned in the probe identified him as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

    FILE - This is a Monday, May 28, 2012 file picture, of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves the High Court in London. Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors said Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016 that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties connected to another political figure's 2012 visit to Bucharest. Prosecutors did not identify the prominent visitor, but a businessman who was questioned in the probe identified him as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)  (The Associated Press)

Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors say former Prime Minister Victor Ponta is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties connected to another political figure's 2012 visit to Bucharest.

Prosecutors did not identify the prominent visitor. But Sebastian Ghita, a businessman who was questioned by prosecutors Tuesday, told the Mediafax news agency that the probe focused on a visit by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Prosecutors also questioned Ponta on Tuesday. They are alleging he misused his authority as leader of the Social Democratic Party to persuade Ghita to spend 220,000 euros ($246,000) on Blair's trip.

In exchange, Ponta allegedly promoted the businessman within the party to help him win a parliamentary seat. Ponta and Ghita both deny wrongdoing.

Prosecutors' spokeswoman Livia Saplacan says the foreign visitor is not being probed.