Romania's outgoing Prime Minister Victor Ponta has made his first court appearance on corruption charges.
Ponta appeared at the High Court of Justice on November 6 for a preliminary hearing in his trial on charges of fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering.
He denies the charges, which date from the period 2007 to 2011, when he was working as a lawyer.
The 43-year-old, who became prime minister in 2012, resigned from the post on November 4 after a fire at a Bucharest nightclub left 32 people dead, prompting tens of thousands of people to take to the streets demanding a "profound change" in the government.
The venue was not authorized to hold concerts or stage the pyrotechnic display that sparked the fire, and the demonstrators blamed government corruption and incompetence for the tragedy.
Ponta's resignation has failed to stop the protests, and some 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Bucharest for a third consecutive night on November 5.
Earlier, President Klaus Iohannis named Education Minister Sorin Campeanu to lead a temporary administration on November 5, ahead of talks with political parties over forming a new government.