Former Interior Minister Petre Toba can be criminally prosecuted. President signs off criminal prosecution request

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Former Interior Minister Petre Toba can be criminally prosecuted, after President Klaus Iohannis signed off the criminal prosecution request on Thursday. Petre Toba’s case file had been forwarded to the Presidency early this week.

“Romanian President Klaus Iohannis forwarded to the Justice Minister on Thursday, September 8, the criminal prosecution request that concerns Mr. Toba Petre, Interior Minister from November 2015 to September 2016, for deeds that are the object of Criminal File no. 280/P/2016, opened by the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office – the National Anticorruption Directorate –, with the next steps set to be taken in line with the law, bearing in mind the request filed by the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor General, on the basis of Article 109, Paragraph 2 of the Romanian Constitution, of Law no.115/199 on ministerial accountability, republished, amended and supplemented, and of Constitutional Court Decision no.270/2008,” reads the communique released by the Presidency.

Likewise, the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office has been notified, according to the aforementioned source.

A week ago, anticorruption prosecutors had asked the Romanian President to sign off the start of the criminal prosecution against former Interior Minister Petre Toba. The DNA claims that on April 1, in his capacity as Interior Minister, Petre Toba allegedly refused to start the partial declassification of documents that the investigators had requested in a case in which Gabriel Oprea is indicted for abuse of office in relation to expenditures incurred by the Department for Intelligence and Internal Protection (DIPI). The prosecutors’ request concerned several paragraphs from orders issued at the ministry’s level.

 

Liviu Dragnea, dissatisfied with Petre Toba leaving the Gov’t

 

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) is suggesting that Petre Toba was pressured to resign precisely in order to be replaced by a minister that is politically close to the National Liberal Party (PNL). PSD President Liviu Dragnea says the former interior minister was a veritable technocrat.

“Petre Toba can be called a professional, a technocrat. And he had to leave the Government. Of course it’s not all right,” the PSD leader stated at a talk-show.

On Tuesday, Liviu Dragnea stated that Premier Dacian Ciolos had called him before he publicly announced the decision to appoint Dragos Tudorache at the helm of the Interior Ministry. On that occasion, the PSD President allegedly told the Head of Government that there are suspicions that the new minister has political bias.

“I told him there are suspicions, not necessarily on my part, but there is talk that he is very close to the Liberals. But I said that the most important thing is for that minister to show that he is independent of politics, because during this time everyone sees the Interior Ministry as the ministry that organises the elections alongside the Standing Electoral Authority,” Liviu Dragnea stated.