President Klaus Iohannis expected to announce decision in DNA Chief’s dismissal case

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President Klaus Iohannis is expected to announce this week his decision in the case concerning National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi

The Presidential Administration announced last Friday that the Head of State will this week take a decision regarding the dismissal from office of DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.

In February, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader asked President Iohannis to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor. In a report that he publicly presented, the minister pointed out that three juridical conflicts of a constitutional nature were registered in a single year, conflicts that saw the DNA summoned before the Constitutional Court of Romania and “the CCR censuring the disloyal behaviour displayed by the DNA Chief Prosecutor.”

After he received the report, President Klaus Iohannis promised he would announce his decision after Easter.

 

PNL’s Orban: “It’s the chronicle of a known decision”

 

National Liberal Party (PNL) Cairman Ludovic Orban stated on Sunday, in a press conference in Brasov, that President Klaus Iohannis’s decision on whether to dismiss DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi is “the chronicle of a known decision” and he reiterated the fact that none of the reasons invoked by the Justice Minister in support of having her dismissed has “any serious grounds.”

“It’s the chronicle of a known decision. In what concerns us, we considered ridiculous the reasons that Tudorel Toader presented as justification of his proposal to have the DNA Chief Prosecutor dismissed, and we consider there are no solid grounds for this overture,” Orban said when asked what decision he believes the President will take in what concerns the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor, News.ro informs.

Likewise, regarding the possibility that the PSD would attack the President’s decision at the Constitutional Court, the PNL President said everyone knows that the PSD has a single goal, namely “to muzzle the prosecutors so that they would no longer bother them for the thefts they committed or are committing.” He also stated that the PNL backs the independence of the judiciary and the anticorruption campaign, but a campaign without abuses and with “solid” dossiers.

“So what if they attack it? At any rate, everyone knows that the PSD has but one objective: to muzzle the prosecutors so that they would no longer bother them for the thefts they committed or are committing. We support the independence of the judiciary, we support the anticorruption campaign. Obviously, one without abuses, with solid dossiers, with well-substantiated dossiers that would reflect the facts. This anticorruption campaign is necessary, because one can easily see that people at odds with the law are at the helm of the country,” he added.

Orban was referring to the announcement that Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu made last Tuesday. When asked whether the Constitutional Court will be notified in case the Head of State refuses to dismiss Laura Codruta Kovesi, the Senate Speaker said that that role belongs to the Government and the Premier will have to assume this position.

“I believe this will go to the CCR (in case the President refuses to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor – editor’s note). But if we analyse things as they are, the conflict could be between the Executive and the President, because the report is authored by the Justice Minister, in relation to the President. Of course, the Constitution gives that right to the Speakers of the two Chambers too, but things are very clear and we’ll see that it would be logical for the Justice Minister and the Premier to be the ones who take notice in this case. Notifying the Court is not justified in this situation, it’s only a supplementary action. The CCR unequivocally decided that the President does not have an essential role in appointing and dismissing, and the decision is clear. (…) We must see the President’s decision. We haven’t discussed this very much, but the Premier, regardless of who he/she is, must undertake this role, not anyone else; especially since they have the Justice Minister who is an authority in this field, I expect the Government to take responsibility for this solution,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.

Asked whether President Klaus Iohannis should accept the dismissal request, the Senate Speaker said: “It depends on the way the President understands to exercise his mandate. (…) The protocols and the way the DNA operated through elite unites have appeared, all the information in the public space, the violation of the Constitution, also included in the Justice Minister’s report (on the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor – editor’s note)… it’s difficult to ignore these things,” Tariceanu added.

On the other hand, Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Wednesday evening that she first wants to see what President Klaus Iohannis does in what concerns the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi, and then will take a decision, but gave assurances that she “will surely back the Justice Minister.”

“I never hesitated to take responsibility. Maybe this was also the reason [party] President Liviu Dragnea, the party, they backed me for the Prime Minister’s office. But concerning this aspect, first I want to see what the President does, to be able to take a decision. However, what I can tell you is that I will surely back the Justice Minister. (…) I can’t anticipate, I’m waiting to see what decision President Iohannis takes, but I emphasise: I back the Justice Minister,” Dancila stated when asked whether she might lodge a notification regarding a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature in case the President does not dismiss Kovesi.

In what concerns her relationship with Tudorel Toader, Prime Minister Dancila said she is working with him very well.

“I’m working with the Justice Minister very well, I believe the Justice Minister did his duty. He’s a man with experience in this field, I believe he took things very seriously and he had an approach which showed seriousness. (…) I believe the minister always knew that the Prime Minister will be by the side of the Justice Minister of her Cabinet,” she said.

 

 Basescu anticipates President Iohannis’s  decision in Kovesi case: He won’t remove her

 

Senator Traian Basescu, leader of the People’s Movement Party (PMP)  says that the head of the state must make a political decision in what Laura Codruta Kovesi is concerned, by considering first the impact that his decision will have on Romania.

“No, he won’t remove her, when right now Romania’s image is the one reflected by the Greco report. (…) The President cannot base his decision on just the realities discovered in the latest while. The President must also take into account the impact that this decision will have on Romania. (…) Therefore, I believe that Iohannis must make a political decision. He must think what is best for Romania, for this is how a President must think, he must think not what it’s right, but what it’s necessary,” Traian Basescu told Romania TV on Sunday, referring to the decision that Klaus Iohannis is expected to make with respect to the removal from office of the chief-prosecutor of the DNA (National Anti-corruption Directorate), Laura Codruta Kovesi.

When he was asked whether, in this context, the head of the state would prove that he remains “deaf” to the irregularities discovered in the system, he said: “We have the courts for these matters.”

“We have the Judicial Inspection for now, we have institutions that manage certain activities. We have the Prahova statements and he cannot avoid his responsibility, since it happened in the institution that he leads, or in Bihor or Brasov, or in Constanta or with various prosecutors that committed huge abuses, but all these are administrative decisions. At some point, all these must be referred to a court, for Mrs. Kovesi too must answer before the court. However, until then, we are discussing about an impression that is still valid, which is that the current power wrongly wants to remove from office the fighter against corruption, the justice goddess, Laura Codruta Kovesi. For this reason I won’t remove her, for I would bring damage to Romania,” said the PMP leader.

Basescu also said that the risk of total discreditation of Romania is higher than the risk of maintaining Kovesi at the DNA helm.

Asked whether, in his opinion, Laura Codruta Kovesi should have thought of resigning, the PMP leader said: “Definitely yes, this would have been the most elegant solution to this dilemma.”