Romanian deputies rejected on Tuesdy a request to search House speaker Adrian Nastase's home in an anti-graft case related to how he purchased a block of flats in Bucharest. They voted 163 to 131 against the request, submitted in Parliament by Justice minister Monica Macovei on behalf of anti-corruption prosecutors.

That means the National Anti-Corruption Deparment can only issue a new request based on other reasons than those cited in the current case against Nastase.

The Romanian House of Deputies preceded the vote with a debate the prosecutors’ request to search the properties of ex-PM Adrian Nastase, suspected of using his former position as prime minister to obtain houses and procure various appliances.

In the first hours of the debate, several deputies argued that Justice minister Monica Macovei, who submitted the request for House approval according to legal procedures, did not hold enough evidence to support such a request against Adrian Nastase and that she knew too much about the case anyway.

Macovei dismissed the charges and said anti-graft moves against the House speaker had nothing to do with the fact that he is now a high-profile representative of the opposition.

The request had failed to pass the House Judicial Commission and a vote by Social-Democratic deputies that Nastase leads. The House speaker has been insisting he would resist the moves against him as these "are politically motivated".