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January 18, 2022

President Iohannis on Borbely case: A contempt of justice in the Parliament

President Klaus Iohannis says that no one is above the law, adding that the political persons have a double responsibility: to respect their voters and to strengthen through honesty and correctness the institutions of the state.

The head of state labels the Hungarian Democrat Union of Romania (UDMR) deputy Borbely Laszlo case as a “contempt of justice in the Parliament.”

“The influence peddling, the misappropriation of public money, the tax evasion and other forms of corruption the dignitaries could be guilty of, do not only compromise the persons themselves, but the political class in general and the credibility of the bodies of the state in the eyes of the citizens. I have recently assisted in the justice contempt in the Parliament in the Borbely case. Now, a member of the Government delays in presenting their resignation of honour, as he is prosecuted for influence peddling. My message is only one: nobody is above the law, and the political people have a double responsibility: to respect their voters and to strengthen, through honesty and correctness, the state bodies,” the head of state wrote on Sunday evening on his Facebook page.

President Klaus Iohannis has asked on Sunday afternoon Prime minister Victor Ponta to start demarches for sacking Darius Valcov from Finances minister, since the latter is prosecuted for influence peddling.

The Deputies’ Chamber on Wednesday rejected the request to approve the initiation of the criminal prosecution procedure of Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Deputy Borbely Laszlo, former Environment and Forestry Minister, by 154 votes against and 125 votes in favour.

National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutor-in-chief Laura Codruta Kovesi, in beginning of February requested the notification of the Deputies’ Chamber for the approval of the criminal prosecution procedure in the case of former minister Borbely in an older case. His case was reopened after new elements came into view.

Previously, the Parliament has rejected the prosecutors demand for lifting the deputy’s immunity. According to the DNA, Deputy Borbely Laszlo, former Environment and Forestry Minister, is charged with committing three influence peddling offenses.


Why was the President silent in the Borbely case?


When the Senate helped Varujan Vosganian escape the criminal pursuit, President Iohannis had a fast reaction, criticizing the attitude of the senators. Things were quite different in the case of Deputy Laszlo Borbely, as the vote was vehemently criticised both by Romanian politicians and the US Embassy to Bucharest.

This time, Iohannis has kept silent on criticising the Parliament until Sunday The President’s silence was analyzed by PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu.

“I am absolutely convinced that the president is saddened by any vote that obstructs justice, regardless of whether we are talking about Varujan Vosganian, the case of Deputy Borbely or absolutely any other case. Iohannis’ message was not a personal one in the campaign or after the campaign. It was a principle-based message: do not obstruct justice in Parliament”, the PNL Co-President declared on Saturday.

Moreover, Gorghiu declared that she cannot answer in the name of the Presidency Iohannis’ different attitude in the two cases.

Alina Gorghiu also discussed the case of former Presidential adviser George Scutaru. Since leaving Cotroceni, he had no public appearance and showed no intention to join PNL again. “I know what you know: that Mr. Scutaru left out of personal reasons. So far, Mr. Scutaru made no request to reenter the National Liberal Party and I had no occasion to contact him”, Alina Scutaru declared on Saturday, in Timisoara.


MEP Preda: Iohannis must be awaken, he cannot be silent like a fish


President Klaus Iohannis cannot be “silent like a fish” when the Parliament refuses to suspend the immunity of some of its members, says MEP Cristian Preda, as a reaction after Deputies overruled the demand of approval for criminal puruit in Laszlo Borbely’s case.

Cristian Preda regrets that President Klaus Iohannis failed to act in the Borbely and asks him to adopt a position: “I am sorry I have not heard anything about the president in this matter. I have heard reactions from the American Embassy, from the Dutch Embassy and I want to say that third world countries are the only ones where Western embassies react and the President does not. I think that the President must be awaken from the deep sleep he is in. Terrible things are happening in Romania since he was elected. The Parliament in selective in matters concerning the Constitutional State and this is what Mr. Iohannis should be concerned about as well. I think that these things cannot be swept aside without clarifying them.”

“I know that there is a struggle for majority and it must be said that both the Vosganian and the Borbely case are bits of a game of power, because, right now, both Iohannis and Ponta are struggling, the former to gain a majority, the latter to keep a majority. Ponta spoke out, as he does for three years, we have no surprises from Ponta. But we are looking forward to see what Iohannis thinks about this. When he asked Vosganian to resign from his position, something happened. I repeat, now we are talking about the struggle for a new majority, everybody knows it, there is head hunting behind the scenes, the President expressed his wish to reach a new majority. We are yet to see his means to achieve it. Is protecting UDMR members from justice one of the tools he intends to use, to gain majority? I repeat, he cannot be silent like a fish in this matter”, MEP Cristian Preda declared for RFI.







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