“I complied with the MJ request for Kovesi; I set aside my evaluations,” Corlatean says.
Justice Minister Mona Pivniceru had yesterday, in Brussels, a working meeting with the vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding. The agenda of talks was complex and included essential topics of the Romanian judiciary, such as Romania’s progress in complying with the conditions set by the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification; the measures proposed by the Ministry of Justice and approved by the government, required in order to implement the new Codes in the best conditions; the procedure of selecting the candidates for the offices of general prosecutor of the High Court of Cassation and Justice and chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). The messages transmitted by the Romanian side were received with interest by the discussion partners and will be thoroughly approached in the next working meeting of the two officials. The Minister of Justice was also due to meet yesterday the secretary general of the European Commission, Catherine Day.Also yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlatean commented the nomination of Laura Codruta Kovesi as High Representative of the Ministry of Justice in Brussels, saying that he only considered the arguments presented by Minister Mona Pivniceru, while setting aside his own evaluations of the former general prosecutor. Corlatean said in a press conference that he personally talked with Kovesi about her detaching to this office, in Brussels, where she will have to comply with the policy of the Romanian state’s institutions and obey the instructions sent from Bucharest. “I accepted the evaluations and arguments presented by the Ministry of Justice and minister of Justice, and I set aside my own evaluations, which I had and, perhaps, I still have,” Corlatean stated. He confirmed the existence of a written consent about holding this office, signed by Kovesi, and he discussed with her at the ministry. “There was a talk in another format between the minister of Justice and Ms. Kovesi, and there was a mutual consent, also expressed under the form of a written consent which was confirmed and sent to me; based on these documents, I had a direct and personal talk with Ms. Kovesi, here, at the MAE headquarters,” he mentioned. Asked about the fact that a USL politician – who in the past accused prosecutors of obeying the political orders of President Traian Basescu – now accepted this nomination of the former general prosecutors, Corlatean answered that, while holding the office in Brussels, Kovesi “will have to take into account the policy of the Romanian state institutions and the instructions she receives from Bucharest.” Asked whether this nomination will not affect the evaluation of how Romania complied with the commitments assumed in the MCV, Corlatean said that he prefers to think positively with this regard. In an interview with Luju.ro, PM Victor Ponta said that the procedure initiated by Minister Pivniceru for appointing the successors of Kovesi and Morar is one “that indeed adds to the law,” but it is the consequence of the pressures put by PDL MEPs upon the European Commission.The Justice Minister announced Wednesday that she sought support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in view of launching the procedure of appointing Laura Codruta Kovesi as minister-counselor, high representative of the Ministry of Justice for the relation with the European Commission.