A special commission gathers at the Presidential Palace in Bucharest on Thursday to discuss a series of criminal charges against Defence minister Teodor Atanasiu, after a clash of words between him and presidential spokeswoman Adriana Saftoiu.

The commission discusses the Atanasiu case after President Basescu received the criminal complaints against him from the Prosecutor General of the country.

The complaints have been submitted by Saftoiu and a PSD deputy. Saftoiu accuses the Defence minister of abuse in office over his recent statements that he had information from various sources that the presidential spokeswoman leaks data to the press.

The scandal between the two started shortly after minister Atanasiu, on behalf of his Liberal Party, called for the withdrawal of the Romanian troops from Iraq, a move opposed by the Presidency.