Ambassador Harris praises ‘prosecutors of steel’ in fight against corruption

Nuland: US will focus on eliminating corruption in Central and Eastern European states.

The fight against corruption in Romania was reflected in the discourses of foreign officials during the weekend. United Kingdom Ambassador Marin Harris stated yesterday on ProTV that he saw “prosecutors of steel” whose determination in the fight against corruption is impressive and that judicial institutions have established an important principle according to which “nobody is above the law.”
The British ambassador was asked whether in Romania one can speak about political cases as politicians often complain. “No, I believe I saw an increasingly independent judiciary and you have here in Romania people with courage, men of steel within the prosecutor’s offices, within the High Court of Justice. In my opinion their contribution to the fight against corruption is much more significant than the contribution of embassies, because there are people here in Romania that fought against corruption with impressive determination,” Harris answered.
He also stated that corruption problems are to be found in all countries, however what is important is how society reacts to corruption. “I believe the DNA, ANI and the High Court of Justice have reacted firmly to the phenomenon of corruption in Romania and the British embassy has supported this effort because it is very important for us, in order to have a business climate that is suitable for British companies (…), but it is also very important in order to have Romania as a strong ally with an outlook of prosperity,” Harris pointed out. Likewise, he mentioned that during the four years in which he worked with several Romanian governments he noticed a constant anticorruption policy, including from the government.
In what concerns the external situation, the British ambassador opined that Romania is a point of stability in an area that lacks stability, pointing out that he does not expect a change in foreign policy after the autumn’s presidential elections. Likewise, he pointed out that Great Britain is and will remain a strategic partner for Romania. Martin Harris pointed out that the thoughts he has for Romania at the end of his term can be expressed through one of Mihai Eminescu’s poems, from which he recited in Romanian. Harris at the same time gave assurances that Paul Brummell, the United Kingdom’s new ambassador to Bucharest, will learn Romanian.
Another foreign official that tackled the issue of corruption was US Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, who stated last week during a Congressional hearing that the US will in the future intensify its activity in the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe in order to help regional countries promote clean government, independent press and eliminate corruption.
“We are seeing a similar disturbing trend in too many parts of Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans where the aspirations of citizens are being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests who use their money and influence to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, weaken judicial independence and the rights on NGOs,” Nuland stated.
DNA Chief Prosecutor, designated by US Embassy winner of Romanian Women of Courage Awards
Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi was designated on Thursday, April 10, by the US Embassy in Bucharest, the 2014 winner of the Romanian Women of Courage Awards.
“The first woman and youngest ever Prosecutor General and now the first woman to serve as the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi has demonstrated remarkable courage fighting crime and corruption. Under her leadership, DNA prosecutors have continued to move forward with cases that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Chief Prosecutor Kovesi fought to keep DNA strong, relevant and independent,” Duane Butcher, US Charge d’Affaires in Bucharest, said in the speech he delivered at the award ceremony which was held at the Embassy in Bucharest.
In her turn, Laura Codruta Kovesi thanked the US Embassy for the nomination and for the support in consolidating the rule of law in Romania. “(…) I would like to thank the US Embassy for the constant and consistent contribution to the consolidation of the principles of the rule of law in Romania, to the development of an independent and unbiased judiciary and to the consolidation of some institutions in the legal system as courageous, proactive and efficient institutions,” said Kovesi, as quoted by Agerpres.

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