Romania ex-tourism minister arrested on charges of money laundering, influence peddling

A court has ordered a former Romanian tourism minister and presidential candidate arrested on charges of money laundering and influence peddling.

Romania's top court ruled Wednesday to arrest Elena Udrea, a center-right lawmaker who finished fourth in November's presidential election, for 30 days, according to lawyer Marius Striblea.

Udrea is being investigated on charges of influence peddling in the illegal licensing of software in schools, involvement in illegal financing of a boxing gala and money laundering.

Udrea, a lawyer, who founded the Popular Movement Party last year, denies wrongdoing. The ruling can be appealed.

"You can handcuff Elena Udrea, but you cannot handcuff the truth," she said Tuesday.

The 41-year-old gained notoriety because of her glamorous wardrobe and close relationship with Traian Basescu, Romania's president from 2004 to 2014.