Former Romanian government minister accused of corruption

A former minister in the Romanian government has been charged with taking a bribe of 10 hunting rifles in exchange for hiring an adviser to the government, authorities said Tuesday

Serban Mihailescu, a minister without a portfolio in the government of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase is being investigated by anti-corruption prosecutors and has been charged with receiving the rifles, worth 27,000 lei (US$9,470, Ђ 7,780) in exchange for naming Fanel Pavalache as a government adviser.

Pavalache is serving a six-year prison sentence for a separate corruption case.

Mihailescu resigned as minister in 2003 after allegations that he had corrupt advisers in his department.

Mihailescu, who was one of Nastase's key ministers, was officially charged on Wednesday and was informed of the charges on Monday by the National Anti-Corruption Department.

There was no immediate word from Mihailescu, or further details about the investigation.

Nastase, who was prime minister from 2000 to 2004, resigned last week as speaker of Parliament after his Social Democratic Party withdrew its support for him following a corruption scandal, reports the AP.

I.L.