The president of the Romanian Conservative Party (PC), a junior member of the governing coalition, announced on Tuesday that a verdict by the national body studying the archives of the Communist secret service, The Securitate, found him to be involved in political police activities.

But PC leader Dan Voiculescu said he would challenge the verdict and will sue the body - known as CNSAS - over the decision.

CNSAS decided that Voiculescu was involved in Communist-era political police activities last week, but failed to publicly announce the verdict. Instead it allowed Voiculescu to make it public - but he said he only received the decision days later.

Voiculescu had been nominated for the seat of deputy prime minister when the CNSAS evaluation on his Securitate files was renewed - with findings that he was involved in such activities.

A rich businessman owning a media empire, he had warned that his party might withdraw from the government if the CNSAS decided he collaborated with ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s secret service, but a decision in this regard will be taken at party level later this week,

In challenging the CNSAS decision he said a series of statements proving he had no political police activities disappeared from his Securitate files. But a CNSAS representative said all the Securitate data were included in the documents delivered to Voiculescu these days.