Romanian President Traian Basescu signed a decree by which he suspended Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu from his post, following last week recommendation by the president to launch a criminal investigation against Atanasiu.

President Basescu justified this move as necessary in order not to influence the investigation.

The presidential counselor Adriana Saftoiu sued Atanasiu following a statement by the Defense minister that had accused Saftoiu of providing the press with dishonouring info about him.

On Monday, the Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said that the Liberal Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu should not resign despite the pending criminal investigation that had been initiated the presidential counselor.