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September 30, 2022

DNA chief complains of political pressures in Borbely case

Daniel Morar pointed to the statements made by political leaders such as Kelemen Hunor, Victor Ponta and Mihai Voicu, who complained of the “excessive zeal” shown by investigators in the case in which the Environment Minister’s name is mentioned. CSM has come to the prosecutors’ defence.

The Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) has come to the defence of the National Anti-Corruption (DNA) prosecutors’ independence after Daniel Morar, the head of DNA, complained that politicians are exerting pressures and are accusing prosecutors involved in the corruption case in which the Environment Minister’s name is mentioned.

“Considering the statements made by Mr. Daniel Morar, chief prosecutor of the DNA, concerning the statements made by some political leaders, the Superior Magistracy Council has come to the defence of the DNA prosecutors’ independence and has ordered the CSM Plenum’s Judicial Inspection to conduct verifications,” a communiqué issued by the CSM on Friday and quoted by Mediafax shows.

CSM underlines that the political class expressing opinions about ongoing files can represent involvement in the magistrates’ activity. “Consequently, CSM recommends the political class’s representatives to exhibit caution and a balanced attitude when expressing opinions about cases on which judges and prosecutors are currently working,” the CSM representatives write.

In an interview for TVR, Daniel Morar stated that some party representatives are making statements without being in the know and are accusing the investigators. “I’ve seen what the statements of support from party colleagues or from other parties consisted of and I can only note that what is happening now has been regularly happening lately. This solidarity wouldn’t be a problem at all for the prosecutors if it were limited only to that, however these forms of solidarity are spiced up with statements made by persons that are not in the know and with accusations against the DNA or the prosecutors. The ones coming up with these accusations are not familiar with the actual situation, with the juridical situation, with the juridical norms applicable in this matter, but that doesn’t stop them from claiming that “DNA is an abusive institution” for example. The problem appears when this climate is putting pressure on the prosecutor in the context in which handling such a file is fairly difficult anyhow,” the DNA’s chief prosecutor stated.

Morar then stated for Realitatea TV that the statement he made on TVR concerned the statements made by Liberal Mihai Voicu, who claimed that “DNA cries wolf” and is “an untrustworthy institution that launches bombshells,” those made by Kelemen Hunor, who claimed that “DNA is an institution that destroys careers and its accusations have been proven false most of the times,” and the blog entry posted by Victor Ponta. “These statements are pressuring prosecutors. The pressure is there irrespective of its effect. False accusations and statements concerning a case upset us. (…) There is no Borbely case, no official charges have been brought against Mr. Borbely,” Morar underlined.

UDMR President Kelemen Hunor announced that UDMR will ask the Romanian General Prosecutor to verify “the leaks” from the file in which Minister Borbely’s name appears. Kelemen Hunor stated that in state characterized by rule of law it is unacceptable for a Minister’s name “to be thrown in a public debate on the basis of speculations, of unfounded accusations, and thus to destroy and tarnish a man’s reputation.”

According to UDMR’s leader, his statements cannot be labeled as political pressure on the DNA, adding that as long as Daniel Morar is making political statements he will be considered “a politician in a prosecutor’s garb.” “I reject the accusation of political involvement and any political speculation at this moment, but in a democratic country it’s not acceptable and permissible for the DNA to take part in political games,” the UDMR President added.

In what concerns Laszlo Borbely himself, he once again underlined his innocence in this file. “I don’t agree with putting political pressure on the justice system, but I don’t believe we’re dealing with that in this case. Politicians are expressing their opinions; one can’t prevent them from expressing their points of view. The justice system should be independent and should do its job,” Laszlo Borbely stated, pointing out on the other hand that he disagrees with “justice being carried out on TV.”

In his turn, PSD President Victor Ponta stated on Friday that the DNA’s chief prosecutor has come up with too many news and breaking news and with too little criminal files in the past six years. “Now, if he claims he was politically pressured he may have been pressured by persons with whom he has institutional relations, namely the President, the Justice Minister and the General Prosecutor. If he had a moment of boldness and this boldness will disappear before he clarifies this issue then that will be a loss for all of us. And I believe that in this case a clear attitude from the Prime Minister towards a situation that directly concerns the government would be absolutely necessary,” the PSD President said.

ANI accuses pressures too

Shortly after Morar’s statements, Horia Georgescu, secretary general of the National Integrity Agency (ANI), also complained of political pressures on the Agency, in some cases the politicians calling the Agency’s inspectors. “We’re not sheltered from this kind of things; there are various statements that put pressure on the institution’s personnel. (…) A person may not be satisfied with the fact that we’ve started a verification and so he calls the inspector or someone that conducts operative activities as part of the inspection or he even writes to them, telling them that failure to do this or that will result in a criminal file,” Georgescu stated, being quoted by realitatea.net. He added that at this moment an MP has levied such a threat, however he refused to name any names.

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