The Romanian Senate started on Tuesday an extraordinary session aimed to decide whether to approve or not an anti-graft prosecutors' request to launch a criminal inquiry on ex-minister Codrut Seres and minister Paul Pacuraru. Seres was first to speak before MPs today, claiming he was innocent and that the file on his name was abusively put up.

Seres is accused of supporting a criminal network involved in espionage activities related to the privatization of key Romanian energy enterprises. For his part, minister Pacuraru is accused of bribe taking in a different case.

Seres, serving as MP for the small Conservative Party, which used to be part of the government for a while following the 2004 elections, told Senators on Tuesday that the inquiry on his name was a bad joke framed by the media.

He said no prejudice was reported in the two files on his name and that a double measure was applied on him while the Liberal Democrats, a party which the PC opposes, were also allegedly involved in the investigated