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September 21, 2020

Chief anticorruption prosecutor Kovesi: Court did not rule seizure of property of Antena3 TV

The chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi says that the court did not rule the seizure of any property of the Antena3 TV station in the case of the Food Research Institute (ICA), where formally retired tycoon Dan Voiculescu was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

‘Antena3 has no quality in this closed case. Therefore, there is no provision in the court ruling indicating that immovable property of Antena3 must be seized. Also, no journalist, no press, no opinion leader contribution to Antena 3 is involved in the case, and no seizure were pronounced against them. I can definitely say that this sentence ordering the seizure of property is not related to media freedom. The media freedom is not guaranteed by the prime minister, nor by other ministers in this country. The freedom of media is guaranteed by the Constitution and by the law,’ Kovesi said in a live webcast of Adevarul newspaper on Monday.

Election year or legal capacity, no indicators for DNA taking up cases

Chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi told Adevarul Live’s Monday webcast that corruption prosecutors do not take up cases to prosecute based on whether or not it is an election year or on a person having a certain legal capacity, but only based on operative moments.

‘I can assure you that it does not matter to us when there is an election year. Justice is independent and we do or job irrespective of what happens in the political sphere. In very many of the cases we have received intelligence from the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) before the beginning of the current election year. We are working on cases using the resources we have. We are not a very big institution – there are nearly 450 employees, of whom 110-120 are prosecutors. There are also police officers, specialists and clerks. Each prosecutor works on 50-60 cases. So, we do not take up cases based on whether or not there is an election year or the legal capacity of persons, but according to operative moments,’ said Kovesi.

She said that usually DNA is notified by STI but there are also many notifications coming from the citizens.

Kovesi also mentioned the accusations against DNA that DNA allegedly persecutes people form a certain party only.

‘Reality disproves the allegation, does not it? There are senators and MPs from all political parties, there are investigations of ministers, former ministers, former heads of public institutions of previous governments, they are all sent to court and prosecuted the same as those form the current majority are, but I do not want to name names. So, we have no connection between us and what happens in the political sphere. We have been accused of not investigating notifications made by the Prime Minister’s Control Corps. There are very many such notifications that have led to the start of criminal probes and to people being sent to court. I am sure there are instances in which the evidence provided did not reveal any shred of guilt, in which no court action was justified, but we treat all cases equally,’ said Kovesi


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