Former Economy minister Adriean Videanu on Thursday was retained by Romania anti-graft prosecutors under charges of complicity to abuse in office, according to judicial sources quoted by news agency Agerpres. He left the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) in handcuffs late on Thursday.

According to Agerpres sources, the former head of a key body fighting organized crime (DIICOT), Alina Bica, abusively lifted early last year a distraint order set on shares held by Videanu in a company. Adriean Videanu and other people were under inquiry in a DIICOT case over a prejudice of USD 11 million and jeopardizing the national natural gas system.

According to sources, Bica's abuse in office effectively helped Videanu protect the shares placed under distraint order and obtain undue benefits.

Adriean Videanu has been under criminal inquiry in a case in which he and another former Economy minister, Varujan Vosganian, are charged with a series of decisions to offer low-price natural gas in favor of a major company, Interagro, owned by influential businessman Ioan Niculae.