Romanian Senate speaker charged with making false statements

Romanian prosecutors have charged the Senate speaker with making false statements to protect people standing trial in a real estate case involving a prince.

Anti-corruption prosecutors said Tuesday that Calin Popescu Tariceanu, prime minister from 2005-2008, had made false statements under oath. Prosecutors say Tariceanu hampered the investigation by denying knowledge of connections between a politically-connected businessman and others with Prince Paul Philippe. Tariceanu hasn't commented.

Paul, who is under house arrest, is standing trial on money laundering charges, illicitly obtaining assets and buying influence. He denies wrongdoing.

Paul is accused of illegally acquiring 64 hectares (158 acres) of state-owned land, costing the state 145 million euros ($164 million).

Romania's monarchy ended when the communists came to power. Land had been confiscated from the royal family by the communist regime.