DNA’s Kovesi on bearer shares: We can verify any information about money and financial circuits

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National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi stated in an interview for ziare.com, when asked about bearer shares – the way in which, according to Rise Project journalists, Liviu Dragnea allegedly controls the Tel Drum company –, that the DNA can verify any information about money and financial circuits. She added that there had been a dossier whose object was the Tel Drum company, dossier closed during Daniel Morar’s mandate in 2010.

The DNA Chief Prosecutor pointed out that bearer shares do not represent a special problem when it comes to the prosecutors’ investigation.

“We can verify many things, the problem is that the information has to be transformed into evidence, which we sometimes have, and sometimes we don’t. Financial investigations concerning bank accounts, assets, bearer shares, we can verify, but, in the end, we’re talking about evidence. (…) We can verify any information about money and financial circuits,” Kovesi stated.

Asked whether there was a previous probe concerning Tel Drum, the DNA Chief Prosecutor pointed out that the Directorate closed a dossier concerning Tel Drum in 2010, but did not want to point out whether that probe had anything to do with Liviu Dragnea.

“There was a Tel Drum dossier solved in 2010 with a decision not to indict. (…) I didn’t read that dossier in particular. (…) I cannot confirm or deny it had any connection with Liviu Dragnea,” Laura Kovesi added.

She emphasised that prosecutors do not investigate the way wealth is obtained, this being the National Integrity Agency’s (ANI) duty, but whether wealth was obtained as a result of corruption crimes.

“When we talk about wealth, let’s not forget there are also other institutions that should verify this, I’m talking about ANI. The DNA does not investigate the way a person obtains wealth or how he/she manages that wealth. We investigate whether there are corruption crimes in the way the wealth was obtained or is managed, the way they exercise their public offices,” Kovesi told ziare.com.

The DNA’s Chief Prosecutor also pointed out that the Directorate does not have pre-established “targets” among politicians, but that it only fights corruption.

“We investigate guilty acts that fall under our prerogatives. The simple fact that a person holds a certain office or has wealth does not mean we must open an investigation. We’re not selecting targets, we’re not investigating a person because he/she owns five villas, because he/she is Prime Minister or minister. We investigate guilty acts,” Kovesi added.

Early last week, PSD President Liviu Dragnea rejected Rise Project’s reports concerning his links with the Tel Drum company, stating he does not own bearer shares and is not “behind” the company, something proven by several dossiers in which the decision taken was not to start the criminal prosecution.

Rise Project published a report allegedly authored by the General Directorate for Internal Protection. Titled ‘Note on aspects that affect the socio-economic climate of Teleorman County,’ the report describes “a criminal network made up of persons that have decision-making power in the county,” a network that Liviu Dragnea allegedly used to embezzle European and Government grants. The document presents Dragnea as “the majority holder of SC Tel Drum SA bearer shares.”

 

Codruta Kovesi on alleged request to have Elena Udrea detained: I never asked prosecutors to order certain measures or solutions

 

DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi stated in her interview for Ziare.com that she never asked a subordinate prosecutor to issue a certain solution in a dossier. The statement came after former DNA prosecutor Mihaela Moraru claimed that she was asked, through a middleman, to have Elena Udrea detained in a dossier, even though the Lower House had not given its consent.

“I never asked prosecutors to order certain measures or solutions. In what concerns certain pre-trial measures, I don’t want to particularise with a certain dossier or prosecutor, my role as Chief Prosecutor intervenes in a single situation, when an approval for the lifting of immunity is requested, if the prosecutor handling the case considers that a measure to detain or place under pre-trial arrest a Senate or Lower House lawmaker is called for. (…) But I have never – never, not just since I’ve been DNA Chief Prosecutor but also when I was Prosecutor General – asked a prosecutor to propose pre-trial arrest or to issue a certain solution in a dossier. Had I done so I believe complaints against me would have been lodged with the CSM in these 10 years,” Kovesi pointed out.

Concerning the dismissal of prosecutors Mihaela Moraru and Doru Tulus, Kovesi claims that in March she ordered a series of audits on the dossiers allocated to the two magistrates and the audits revealed that the two must be dismissed.

“Based on the audits conducted, we noticed that certain norms were infringed, the dismissal of the two prosecutors from the helm of the DNA being called for. I ordered some audits in which the two prosecutors were involved since March and the meeting was audio recorded at the end of March. An audit procedure of the dossiers on the dockets is not finished in a day or two. Especially since we’re talking about a prosecutor who has 100 dossiers, such as the madam prosecutor,” Kovesi added for Ziare.com.

Regarding the number of court acquittals and dossiers sent back to prosecutors, the DNA Chief Prosecutor added that statistics show that that number is not different by far from the number registered during the same period last year, many of the acquittals coming as a consequence of the Constitutional Court decision to modify the definition of abuse of office.

“Last year, 104 persons were acquitted in the first months of the year; this year, 67 persons, 37 of whom were indicted for abuse of office… We have the same number of dossiers returned: 4 in the first six months of last year, 4 this year,” Kovesi added.

In an answer for News.ro, the National Anticorruption Directorate pointed out that prosecutors Doru Tulus and Mihaela Moraru Iorga, whose dismissal the DNA Chief Prosecutor requested on June 29, no longer meet the condition of good reputation required to be DNA prosecutors, as stipulated by the Deontological Code of Judges and Prosecutors.

Moraru Iorga is reproached with failing to register a denunciation in line with legal procedures, while Tulus is reproached with solving dossiers involving a person with whom he had “civil rapports,” which allegedly affected his impartiality. Likewise, the Prosecutor General’s Office decided to cancel the delegation of the two prosecutors as heads of service within the DNA.

Subsequently, DNA prosecutors Mihaela Iorga, Doru Tulus and Marin Nicolae notified the Judicial Inspection, complaining that the DNA Chief Prosecutor is getting involved in the investigation into the leaking of an audio recording of a DNA meeting, by pressuring prosecutors and demanding lie detector tests.

On July 4, when leaving the CSM, where she was heard by the Section for Prosecutors in the case concerning the dismissal request lodged against her by the DNA Chief Prosecutor, Prosecutor Mihaela Moraru stated that the tension between her and the DNA Chief Prosecutor appeared because she refused to comply with some requests. She gave as example a dossier in which Kovesi allegedly asked that Elena Udrea be detained but Moraru ordered Udrea be remanded on conditional bail instead.