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December 1, 2021

MEP Macovei: Any attempt to modify chief prosecutors’ appointment procedure is acting against Romania’s interests

MEP Monica Macovei calls on Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc to come out publicly to say whether he has proposed or supports a change in the procedure to appoint prosecutors to leading positions in the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and the General Prosecution Office, voicing her opinion that this would be against the interests of Romania.

“Any change in the current procedure to appoint the Prosecutor general, the DNA and DIICOT heads, their deputies and the section heads runs counter to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and represents an action against Romania’s interests, including its Schengen accession bid. Minister of Justice Robert Cazanciuc unjustifiably keeps silent on the July 24 meeting of the Superior Council of the Magistrates (CSM) that was also attended by the CSM president and the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Law Committee Bogdan Ciuca, who is under criminal investigation,” Macovei said in a release to Agerpres on Tuesday.

A former Minister of Justice, Macovei says there is worrisome media information according to which changing the procedure to appoint prosecutors in leading positions was also discussed at the meeting.

“Any attempt to change the procedure for appointing the prosecutors who hold leading positions is handling against national interests that will result in another negative report of the European Commission and will drive Romania even further from the Schengen Area, and from the image of a high-principled country that observes its commitments. For the Romanians, such a change would mean doing away with individual accountability for appointments and the removal from office of DNA, DIICOT chief prosecutors and the Prosecutor General, aimed at stalling investigations and trials in corruption, money laundering and organized crime cases,” reads the release.

In support of her argument, Monica Macovei refers to CVM Benchmark No. 3 on anticorruption in its integral form: ”Building on progress already made, continue to conduct professional, non-partisan investigations into allegations of high-level corruption; continue to provide a track record of professional and non-partisan investigations into high-level corruption cases; ensure the legal and institutional stability of the anti-corruption framework, in particular by maintaining the current nomination and revocation procedure for the General Prosecutor of Romania, the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and other leading positions in the general prosecutor’s office.”

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