Romania's PM to propose law to let state take ownership, benefit from proceeds of corruption

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's prime minister is proposing legislation to make it easier to seize assets obtained through corruption.

Last year, courts ordered the confiscation of assets worth 310 million euros ($330 million) in high-profile corruption cases. However, authorities recovered only a small percentage of that amount, leading to criticism from anti-corruption prosecutors.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Wednesday he is proposing creation of an agency tasked with identifying and making use of goods that have been confiscated. The legislation also would allow authorities to immediately use or take ownership of assets such as buildings already confiscated by a court ruling.

Buildings could be used for medical and education purposes or given to public institutes, saving the state rent money.

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