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January 17, 2022

PM Ponta alleges President Iohannis pressed for his indictment, top prosecutor and presidential advisor deny it

Prime Minister Victor Ponta alleged on Thursday night that President Klaus Iohannis pressed for his indictment.

Asked to comment the fact that President Iohannis wishes the censure motion filed by the Liberals to get voted, since the prime minister’s indictment puts Romania in a unique situation in Europe, Ponta answered in a phone intervention at private television Romania TV: “I wonder if he pressed for my indictment, because I find these statements already abnormal for a President of Romania. (…) The President of Romania should be a bit more balanced; he should treat us all as citizens of Romania.”

Asked to be more specific about President’s ways of twisting arms, the premier answered, “I don’t know, but if he is that happy … I believe he has his reasons or his knowledge.”

Kovesi rejects Ponta’s allegations

The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi rejected Ponta’s allegations later on Thursday, at another TV.

“We are not sensitive neither to persons who propose us or appoint us in our positions, and I believe we have proved that through DNA’s results. Therefore, I always rule out any eventual assumption or supposition that someone could put pressure on a DNA case prosecutor. (…) The institution I represent and the colleagues I work with on a daily basis do their job by the law. I think we have proved in the past two years that we are not sensitive to pressure or intimidations; we do not judge people, we judge their deeds and try to investigate the acts allegedly committed,” she told Digi 24.

Presidential advisor Dan Mihalache said on Thursday that if the premier had suspicions on the judiciary’s independence, he could notify the Judiciary Inspection.

“Ponta has a certain style. Victor Ponta is in the usual tone of the statements he makes believing he is very smart if hiding them underneath vague formulas. We at the level of the Presidential Administration do not want to play ping-pong with dubious balls, because we are now busy. If Mr. Ponta has any huge stress and a suspicion, as he says, regarding the independence of the judiciary, he may speak to the Judiciary Inspection; he has a consolidated experience already,” Mihalache commented in New York on the prime minister’s allegations about the President.

Mihalache, head of the Presidential Chancellery, is among the delegation accompanying President Klaus Iohannis in his official visit to the United States.

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