POLITICS

Anti-corruption Chief-Prosecutor Kovesi: DNA owns interception technical capabilities

The Chief-Prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, said during the ‘Probleme la zi/ Daily matters’ Radio Romania News and Current Affairs  programme that not all interceptions used in criminal cases were performed by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

‘First of all, the authorisation for the interception of a person is issued by a judge who checks and who decides if legal requirements are fulfilled. I can tell you that DNA has its own technical department to do the interceptions, not in all our cases the interceptions are done by the Romanian Intelligence Service. This is probably something the public doesn’t know very well’, Laura Codruta Kovesi said.

The DNA chief-prosecutor also noted that the cooperation with SRI was governed by existing laws and protocols.

Laura Codruta Kovesi said in an interview for RRA on Wednesday that she had done her job according to the Constitution.

 

I am not interested in what President Basescu says

 

Asked how he caused the ‘repulsion’ of ex-President Traian Basescu, the chief of DNA answered: ‘I just did my job. I did what the law and the Constitution say I am supposed to do’.

Regarding Traian Basescu’s accusation of a <guantanamisation> of justice, Kovesi said prosecutors’ action is checked by judges.

‘I am not interested in what President Basescu says, I do not comment what he ahs to say. I can only tell you that we comply with the law, we respect fundamental rights and, at DNA, we are very much concerned first of all with observing the law (…). I don’t know what happens at Guantanamo, I’ve not been there, but the judge always checks the manner in which DNA prosecutors have worked’, Kovesi said on RRA. ‘Over 90% of the cases recorded by DNA are based on reports from natural or legal persons. Only 5% are own action based on SRI or other intelligence agency reports, or press reports. The fact that some cases where certain activities were supported by SRI are more media-covered than others could lead to that conclusion’, the chief-prosecutor of DNA also said.

Laura Codruta Kovesi said on Wednesday that ex-President Traian Basescu was not a suspect or defendant in a case dealt with by DNA.

 

Kovesi dismounts assertions that civil servants refuse to sign off on documents for fear of DNA

 

DNA Chief-Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, in an interview for RRA on Wednesday, dismounted the allegations that, following anti-corruption investigations, civil servants are afraid to sign papers and investors are scared.

‘Something like <I’m afraid to sign off things because I could be taken by DNA> seems to be suggesting lack of trust in the people you work with, that the staff of institutions are not honest. This can be extremely dangerous, it means that you distrust the system under you’, Kovesi said.

‘I have seen positions that we scare off investors. There are actually many businesspeople who congratulate us on what we do, as they all want a fair and transparent competitive playing field’, Kovesi said on RRA.

 

DNA to maintain rhythm as long as officials steal or take bribes

 

On Wednesday, National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi made a statement that has shaken the political scene.

“As long as we have civil servants or persons in important offices that steal public money or that receive bribes in order to do their jobs our activity will be just as intense. The fact that we are currently handling seven thousand cases shows that we have a lot of work to do and we will not stop irrespective of the speculations and pressures exerted in the public space. The cases in which preventive measures have been taken against the persons involved are the cases that are finalized with priority because the duration of preventive measures is limited during the criminal probe. I can tell you that work is being done at a high rhythm in all these cases in which persons that interest the public opinion are involved. I hope we will have court rulings in most of them too, in the shortest of times,” Laura Codruta Kovesi stated in an interview for Radio Romania Actualitati.

 

DNA cases concerning current or former officials

 

Asked whether current or former officials, namely current or former ministers and MPs, continue to be targeted, Laura Codruta Kovesi answered: “Yes, we are currently working on such cases, I can tell you that 48 state officials have been arraigned in the last seven years, more than half of them being sentenced, a part of the cases are on the roll of the courts, but we are also working on cases that concern these cases, with the mention – which I consider extremely important – that they are members of different political parties. We do not investigate people based on their religion or party membership, we investigate them based on the office and position they have in the public system.”

 

Important new names?

 

Asked whether there are other important names involved in these cases, the DNA director answered: “I don’t know, they may be for journalists or for citizens, for us they are the names of suspects, who from our point of view have the same statute and we treat them equally. There probably are cases in which the names will spark higher interest, there are cases in which the names will not spark interest, but the way of receiving ill-gotten benefits is new. I can tell you that the rhythm will continue and this rhythm is not related to political events or to the desire of some persons to bring out to the surface or to bury cases now or in another period. This rhythm has taken root since 2013.”

 

 

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