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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 15:41 GMT
Romania ex-PM faces graft trial
Adrian Nastase
Mr Nastase says the charges are politically motivated
Prosecutors in Romania say former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase will go on trial on charges of bribe-taking, blackmail and abuse of public office.

The case against Mr Nastase, who was PM from 2000 to 2004, relates to the building of an apartment in Bucharest.

He denies taking 1.37m euros ($1.76m; 921,000) in bribes.

Correspondents say the Romanian authorities have been anxious to deal with allegations of corruption as the country prepares to join the EU.

Mr Nastase says the case against him, his wife Daniela and two other people is a political vendetta.

Mr Nastase was forced to step down as leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party after the investigation opened last year, but he remains a member of parliament.

Progress on tackling corruption is crucial to Romania's plan to meet the January target date for EU membership.

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