Romanian ex-PM cleared of graft: prosecutors must 'clean up'

BUCHAREST, Romania — A former Romanian prime minister recently cleared of graft charges has urged prosecutors to clean up in-house or risk interference from politicians.

Victor Ponta, who was premier 2012-2015, was acquitted May 10 of making false statements, money laundering, conflict of interest and being an accomplice to tax evasion. Prosecutors can appeal the ruling.

Ponta told reporters Monday: "Prosecutors who make a mistake should be held responsible." He added that he'd sue the prosecutor who built the case against him. "If there aren't self-regulatory measures then politicians will 'clean up'.......it will be bad."

Ponta also said he would vote against a judicial overhaul proposed by the left-wing government that critics say will weaken the anti-corruption fight.

Ponta was the first Romanian prime minister to be indicted for corruption while in office.

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