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

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.