In a unanimous vote on Friday, the General Assembly of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA)’s prosecutors has requested the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) to analyse whether the statements of Prime Minister Victor Ponta about the prosecutor of his criminal case might prejudice the independence of the judiciary as a whole.
The request follows assertions made by Premier Victor Ponta on a social network on Thursday, after the DNA announced that he was indicted; the PM wrote that “(…) the country’s only problem is the obsession of one totally unprofessional prosecutor to prove himself, by making up and imagining untrue facts and situations of 10 years ago!”
According to a DNA release sent to Agerpres on Friday, during the Prosecutors’ General Assembly, convened upon the CSM request, in connection with the propositions of modification and completion of the Law No. 303/ 2004 on the Status of Judges and Prosecutors (republished), the topic of the statements launched in the virtual space by the Prime Minister was included on the agenda .
“On this occasion, through a unanimous vote, the 90 prosecutors present in the General Assembly of the National Anticorruption Directorate have asked the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) to analyse whether the said statements could prejudice the independence of the judiciary as a whole. The said statement is all the more serious because the prosecutor’s documents are subject to review by superiors in terms of legality and merits, in accordance to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. Thus, the statements by Ponta Victor-Viorel, through the position he is holding, have a particular impact upon the public opinion, being likely to undermine and prejudice the institution where the prosecutor is working, as well as the independence of the judiciary,” the DNA release reads.
In the request to the CSM, the signatories deem that “the denigratory affirmations” made by the premier harm the professional reputation of the prosecutor who has handled the case and of the prosecutors empowered to rule on the legality and validity of the solution in the case – indictment.
“These statements are questioning the objectivity with which criminal cases are handled, and also the moral and professional probity of the prosecutors who work for this institution, which is likely to seriously undermine the independence of the National Anticorruption Directorate. We recall that the judiciary’s independence is a consequence of the professional, moral integrity, and impartiality and integrity are attributes that must be guaranteed under the law,” the anticorruption prosecutors emphasize.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Thursday that Romania has a growing economy, and the country’s only problem is “the country’s only problem is the obsession of one totally unprofessional prosecutor to prove himself, by making up and imagining untrue facts and situations of 10 years ago!”
“In three years, Romania will economically surpass several European countries – says the International Monetary Fund! I strongly believe that this is achievable, through the work of the Romanian people and an efficient governance (and then, in 2018, we’ll think the times were not bad when the economy was growing, the salaries and pensions too, we were absorbing European funds and helping [the Republic of] Moldova, and the country’s only problem was the obsession of a totally unprofessional prosecutor eager to prove himself in his profession, by making up and imagining untrue facts and circumstances of 10 years ago,” the prime minister wrote on his Facebook account.
The National Abticorruption Directorate on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Victor Ponta was sent to court in a Rovinari-Turceni criminal file for forgery of private documents (17 offenses), complicity to continued tax evasion and money laundering, in his capacity as lawyer and legal representative of the ‘Ponta Victor-Viorel individual law firm’.
In the criminal file are also indicted senator Dan Sova, coordinating lawyer of the ‘Sova and Associatii’ Civil Society of Lawyers, under judiciary control; Laurentiu Ciurel, at the date of the deeds in his capacity of general manager of SC Complexul Energetic Rovinari Company; Dumitru Cristea, at the date of the facts general director of the Complexul Energetic Turceni; and Octavian Laurentiu Graure, at the date of the facts economic director of the Complexul Energetic Turceni.
Superior Council of Magistracy notifies Judiciary Inspection on PM’s allegations against prosecutor
The executives of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) notified the Judiciary Inspection, upon a request of National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors, on public allegations of Prime Minister Victor Ponta about a prosecutor in his criminal case. The Judiciary Inspection has to check whether Ponta’s statements harm the independence of the judiciary system as a whole.
“The executives of the Superior Council of Magistracy acknowledged the outcome of the unanimous vote of prosecutors within the National Anticorruption Directorate in the Prosecutors’ General Assembly of September 18, by which they asked the Council to analyse whether the public allegations of Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania’s Government, made following his indictment, prejudice the independence of the judiciary system. Under Article 30 Paragraph 1 of Law 317/2004, the Council’s executives notified the Judiciary Inspection to carry out the necessary verifications to established whether and to what extent the public affirmations of Victor Ponta might prejudice the independence of the judiciary system as a whole,” reads a CSM release to Agerpres on Friday.
CSM also asks for the observance of the obligation of reserve towards the work of the judiciary system, especially when referring to cases in progress at the prosecutors’ offices or in courts.
“Exceeding the obligation of reserve incumbent upon representatives of the legal state representatives harm its balance and prejudices its fundamental values,” the CSM warns.