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Romanian prosecutors start probe into legality of motorcades

November 5, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s anti-corruption office has started a criminal probe into the legality of motorcades used by top officials, following the death of a police motorcyclist who was accompanying the interior minister.

The anti-corruption prosecutors’ office told The Associated Press Thursday it had begun an inquiry after a non-governmental group and another person filed a complaint about the alleged abuse of rules by top officials.

Policeman Bogdan Gigina died after riding into a hole on Oct. 20. Gigina was in a motorcade easing a route through Bucharest for Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea.

According to the highway code, the president, the prime minister and the speakers of both chambers of parliament are granted the use of police-led motorcades.

Ministers are allowed the same privilege only in “special situations.” Media have reported that Oprea had more than 1,500 police-led motorcades in the first 10 months of the year.

Oprea refused to resign, sparking protests. Many Romanians think that government ministers abuse their positions by overusing motorcades, which often block traffic in the busy capital. The whole government resigned Wednesday after angry protests over a nightclub fire that killed more than 30.

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