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Morar: I will not run for the office, I will not participate in a farce.
Official sources quoted by Mediafax announced that the Section for Prosecutors of the CSM decided Tuesday to detach Laura Codruta Kovesi, prosecutor with the Sibiu territorial Bureau of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Department (DIICOT) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a 3-year interval that started yesterday, October 3. Kovesi will hold a position with responsibilities pertaining to anticorruption policies within the Romanian Mission upon the EU in Brussels. The Ministry of Justice confirmed that it requested, on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry’s support for Laura Codruta Kovesi to be detached as minister-counselor to the Romanian Mission in Brussels, as high representative of the Ministry of Justice in relation with the European Commission for issues such as ‘fulfilling the conditionality for the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), reform of the judicial system and fight against corruption.’On the other hand, Daniel Morar, appointed by Laura Codruta Kovesi as interim chief of the Public Ministry, said on Tuesday that he will not participate in a farce, so he will not run for the position of general prosecutor. “I examined that procedure (of selection), it provides transparency about submitting candidacies, but not about management projects, interview or selection criteria,” Morar said, quoted by HotNews. In his opinion, MJ – which should make public the final list of candidates tomorrow – has two variants of action: either it makes proposals ignoring any procedure and takes responsibility for the nominations, or initiates a transparent procedure that allows each candidate to stand a chance. In retort, MJ issued a press release in which it assures that the selection procedure for the offices of general prosecutor and DNA chief, initiated by the Ministry, “is in line with the suggestions of the European Commission and of the Section for Prosecutors of the CSM and assures the transparency of this process, but it cannot ignore the substance of art 54 of Law 303/2004, which stipulates that the nomination proposal must be made by the minister of Justice.” The only purpose of this procedure is allowing the minister to choose the best candidate for each of the respective jobs, without being identified with the common procedure of contest or examination, reads the press release. According to the source, the criteria used in choosing a candidate have been posted on the internet page of the Ministry, for the first time since the enforcement of Law 303/2004, “precisely in order to secure the transparency” of the process.According to judicial sources, quoted by ‘Evenimentul zilei’ newspaper, for the Prosecutor general office no less than eleven persons have registered their candidacy by Wednesday evening.
Ponta asks Pivniceru to treat “with all seriousness” the problem of nominations
Victor Ponta asked the minister of Justice, Mona Pivniceru to avoid any “political trap” related to the nominations of the new general prosecutor and DNA chief, adding that the interim situation that follows the end of Kovesi’s mandate starts looking like the situation of Oltchim. “She (Pivniceru) has a very clear discussion with the European Commission, a very clear law, so she must propose the new general prosecutor and chief of the DNA. The government has no say in who these people are; we must only make sure that the law has been observed. (…) I want – and hope – that, when she returns (from Brussels), the minister treats this situation with all seriousness,” Ponta said, quoted by Mediafax.Tuesday evening, the premier avoided to comment Daniel Morar’s statements about the lack of transparency of MJ regarding the procedure of selecting the future general prosecutor and the chief prosecutor of the DNA. “I do not know and will not comment. What is going on at the Prosecutor’s Office does not fall within the prime minister’s competencies,” Ponta said, quoted by Mediafax. “Among the 2,500 prosecutors, there certainly are other independent and competent people” to hold the two offices, he mentioned. “Nobody is irreplaceable,” he said, adding that, according to the law, an office may be held twice, then “one should allow others” to hold it too.
Pivniceru to meet Reding in BrusselsJustice Minister Mona Pivniceru will have a meeting in Brussels, with European Commission (EC) vice-president Viviane Reding, also commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, and another with the secretary general of the Commission, Catherine Day, Mediafax reports. Pivniceru should have met Reding in Vienna on September 19, during the Conference of Justice Ministers of the Council of Europe. The meeting should have occurred after the Romanian minister of Justice launched, on September 17, the procedure for selecting the future general prosecutor and chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), with the proposals due to be submitted to the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) by the Ministry of Justice (MJ). Pivniceru however canceled her trip to Vienna, saying that the office of Viviana Reding informed her that a thorough talk with the European commissioner was impossible. Later, Cristina Manda, counselor of Pivniceru, explained that the Minister of Justice could only have shaken hands with Reding during an informal dinner held on the occasion of the Conference.On the other hand, sources in Brussels quoted by HotNews claim that the EC sent, three weeks ago, a letter to the MJ warning that the procedure of nominating the new DNA chief and general prosecutor is not transparent. According to the sources, the Commission explained that a transparent procedure means public management projects submitted by candidates, public interviews and clear criteria of selecting the candidates.