On Monday, Daniel Horodniceanu received the favourable opinion from the Prosecutors’ Department of the Superior Council of Magistracy to become the Chief-Prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), with five votes in favour and two opposed.
‘During the meeting on 4 May 2015, after covering the activities under the opinion-issuing procedure, analysing the management project and after holding the interview, the Prosecutors’ Department of the Superior Council of Magistrates issued a positive opinion, with a majority of votes, on the proposal of the minister of justice for the appointment of Mr. Daniel-Constantin Horodniceanu, Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT – Iasi Service, as Chief-Prosecutor of the Department for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism. The proposal had been forwarded to the Superior Magistrates Council by the minister of justice on 9 April 2015’, reads a CSM press statement.
The opinion of the Prosecutors’ Department of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) will be sent to the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday and will accompany the proposal to be sent by Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc to President Klaus Iohannis for the appointment of Daniel Horodniceanu as Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT.
DIICOT leadership causes differences on CSM
The head of DIICOT Iasi, Daniel Constantin Horodniceanu, proposed as new Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT, was interviewed by the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) on Monday.
Under the Regulation, the first 30 minutes of the interview were reserved for the presentation of the management project. Afterwards, the candidate answered questioned for the next 75 minutes.
In his management project submitted to CSM, Daniel Horodniceanu proposes ‘bringing back trust in the teams, especially the Central Structure’.
Prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu said during the interview he held at CSM on Monday that the image of DIICOT must be improved and the trust in prosecutors restored.
‘It is important for the team that will lead DIICOT to bring back the sprit the structures has had so far. We need to bring back confidence among the prosecutors. The specialisation of prosecutors is important. It is very important that the chief-prosecutors can count on the heads of services’, said, in the beginning of the interview, prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu, proposed by Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc as Chief-Prosecutor of the Directorate as a replacement for Alina Bica.
Controversy during CSM meeting
The nomination of the new head of the Directorate for Investigating the Organised Crime and Terrorism managed to spark controversy during the CSM meeting. According to Realitatea TV, the interview was an opportunity for sharp lines exchanged between the members of the Council.
‘I am presenting to you a purely hypothetical situation: imagine you found out that a DIICOT prosecutor with one of the local departments in the DIICOT architecture at some stage sits at the same table with a city mayor and a top-ranking politician, discussing matters relative to a criminal case. How would you respond to such an incident?’ Haineala asked the candidate.
‘I would first check the information and try to see if the relationship also existed before he became a DIICOT prosecutor or not. I would try to talk to the prosecutor in question to see what was the reason for the conversation at that table’, Horodniceanu answered. ‘If the incident confirmed – he went on – I would ask the prosecutor general to take the legal measures.
Horodniceanu headed DIICOT Iasi from June 2006 to June 2009 and from June 2012 to 2015, meaning exactly during the same time Mayor Gheorghe Nichita was using the Corduneanu criminal clan.
The local media have published a few still unconfirmed rumours that, at the beginning of the year, he and Mayor Gheorghe Nichita met in an Iasi hotel.
Who is Horodniceanu?
On 9 April – Agerpres states – the minister of justice announced that he had nominated Daniel-Constantin Horodniceanu, head of DIICOT — Iasi as Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT.
In his management project submitted to CSM, Daniel Horodniceanu wants to ‘bring back trust within teams, especially the Central Structure, seriously affected, especially psychologically, after the events in the last quarter of 2014, which led to a blockage that also caused a decline in the will to perform among prosecutors’, referring to the arrest of ex-DIICOT chief Alina Bica.
Horodniceanu also proposes ‘to recharge the responsibility of individual prosecutors’ for acts and activities performed, as well as bringing back the team spirit and individual checking by the newly formed team of each prosecutor and creation of a ‘zero’ moment in their activity.
In the same management project, the candidate identifies a number of risks to DIICOT: information leaks from cases; influencing prosecutors’ decisions by persons with economic and financial power; interest of certain persons from the local criminal world in recruiting policemen and magistrates; increase of the specialisation of organised crime; lack of physical protection for prosecutors; media campaigns putting psychological pressure on prosecutors, especially within cases concerning politicians and business people.
According to the applicable legal regulations, the chief-prosecutor of DIICOT is appointed by the president of Romania, at the proposal of the minister of justice, based on the opinion of the Superior Council of Magistrates, among prosecutors with a minimum of ten years as judges or prosecutors, for a period of three years, with the possibility of one extension.
Horodniceanu has served as a prosecutor for 16 years, six of which in leading positions. Currently he is the Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT Iasi Service. He was Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT Iasi Office from June 2006 to June 2009, and Chief-Prosecutor of DIICOT Iasi Service from June 2012 to 2015. He was a trainer at the National Magistracy Institute on matters of ethics and deontology of magistrates; a trainer in the area of hearing of children in judicial proceedings as well as in the area of the protection of victims of violence and trafficking in human beings.
Horodniceanu graduated post-degree education in criminal law, ethics and deontology of magistrates, protection of victims of violent crimes and human trafficking, cyber-crime, consolidation of the capacity of the judicial system in Romania for coping with the new legislative and institutional challenges. He has written several articles in the legal speciality.
Cazanciuc confident in antiterrorist head prosecutor nominee Horodniceanu
Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc says Daniel Horodniceanu is the best possible nominee for the position of head prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).
“I have no information whatsoever leading to the conclusion that Daniel Horodniceanu would not be the best nomination for DIICOT’s leadership today. He is a team player, he is a man who knew how to perform in time at the DIICOT; he knew how to attract and keep around him people who wish to perform at the DIICOT, and I am positively convinced that he has no other agenda except DIICOT’s,” Cazanciuc declared on Monday.
He also appreciated Horodniceanu’s sense of humour during the interview at the Supreme Council of Magistracy (CSM) for the DIICOT position.
“I think that today he [Horodniceanu] has very clearly demonstrated thorough knowledge of the DIICOT; he has demonstrated maturity and balance in the solutions he proposed; I think he also understood from the Section [for prosectuors of the CSM] what he has to do further, both in his managerial project and in terms of concrete solutions to decide for DIICOT’s activities,” Cazanciuc added.