Romanian Senators approved on Tuesday the start of criminal inquiries on two files againse Conservative Party (PC) Senator Codrut Seres and one against Liberal Senator Paul Pacuraru for deeds done while in ministerial office. Investigators demanded parliamentary approval to start inquiries against ex-Energy minister Seres under charges of links with an organized crime network, while Pacuraru is the subject of a bribe-taking case.

The two had said during hearings before the Senate prior to the decision that they were innocent and urged MPs not to approve the investigations.

But Senators approved an inquiry against Seres in a file related to the privatization of Hidroelectrica, a key Romanian energy asset, with 83 votes in favor and 36 against, as well as another, in a file related to Electrica Muntenia Sud, another key energy asset, with 79 votes in favor and 40 against.

Senators approved an inquiry against Pacuraru with 75 votes in favor and 44 against.