The Judicial Inspection (IJ) initiated on Friday a disciplinary action against National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutor-in-chief Laura Codruta Kovesi and DNA deputy chief prosecutor Marius Constantin Iacob, for committing some irregularities.
The action was forwarded to the Section for prosecutors in the discipline area of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM), which will decide on the accountability of the two magistrates.
“On January 12, 2018, Judicial Inspection exercised the disciplinary action against Mrs. Laura Codruta Kovesi, prosecutor-in-chief of the National Anticorruption Directorate (“DNA”) for committing the disciplinary misconduct acts provided by:
– art. 99 letter a) of the Law no. 303/2004 on the statute of the magistrates and prosecutors, republished and amended, namely “manifestations that affect the honor or the professional reliability or the prestige of justice, committed while or outside exerting the job duties” consisting in manifestations likely to affect the honor or the professional reliability of the magistrates who are prosecutors, as well as to the prestige of justice, at a working meeting, circumstances that have been identified in the audio recordings revealed in media on June 18, 2017, according to a press release issued by IJ.
“Concretely, the DNA prosecutor-in-chief voiced herself in the sense of combating the negative effects in respect to the image and credibility of the institution, generated by the Constitutional Court (CCR) decision 68/2018, through the urgent building of some cases with “ministers,” with a media impact, voiced her disagreement concerning the legal, final and generally binding nature of the CCR Decision 68/2017, and used improper wording regarding the Constitutional Court and a judge of the Constitutional Court, inducing the idea to the public opinion that one of the criteria for prioritizing the cases is their media impact and the official capacity of the investigated persons,” the IJ shows.
The IJ press release also mentions that the DNA chief-prosecutor used a superior and aggressive tone which is inadmissible in relation to the minimal ethic and deontological standards of a magistrate and are likely to cause a feeling of indignation within the public opinion, and a legitimate doubt regarding the principles of the supremacy of the Constitution and laws, as well as of the prosecutors’ impartiality.
According to art. 99 letter c) of the Law no. 303/2004 on the statute of the judges and prosecutors, republished and amended, the press release also mentions “the shameful behavior while exerting the job duties towards colleagues, the other staff of the court or the prosecution office in which judicial inspectors, lawyers, experts, witnesses, justice seekers or representatives of other institutions function”, consisting in adopting a shameful behavior through an electronic correspondence (e-mail), using words and phrases with an obvious denigrating, insulting and threatening content towards prosecutors, namely “cowards”, “gossipers”, “criminals”, letting them know that “there is already a circle of suspects”, with reference to a criminal case, thus violating the reserve requirement and the rules of conduct attached to the profession of magistrate.
Moreover, the press release also mentions, according to the same article 99 letter c) of the Law no 303/2004, the ungrounded breach committed by Laura Codruta Kovesi against the provisions and administrative decisions legally ordered by the head of the court or of the prosecution office, or against other administrative obligations provided by the law or regulations” consisting of knowingly violating the provisions of the art.7 letter b of the Internal Regulations of the National Anticorruption Directorate, approved by the Order of the Justice Minister no.1643/C since May 5, 2015, published in the Official Journal of Romania no.350 since May 21, 2015, related to the attributions of the chief-prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, which provides that “it aims to distribute the cases, or, as the case may be, it distributes the cases in relation to objective criteria such as the prosecutor’s specialization or training, the volume of activity, the complexity and the efficiency of solving the cases, the conflicts of interest or the incompatibilities in exerting the office”, by appointing a magistrate who was in an obvious state of incompatibility, as a case prosecutor.
In respect to Marius Constantin Iacob, IJ shows that the action against him regards “the failure to observe the duty to abstain when the judge or prosecutor knows there is one of the causes provided by law for his abstention,” consisting of having conducted criminal investigations without formulating the abstention declaration, although he was clearly under the incompatibility situation provided by article 64 paragraph 1 letter f, referring to article 65 paragraph 1 and article 66 of the Criminal Procedure Code.