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September 19, 2021

Judicial Inspection: Ponta’s statements referring to Prosecutor Uncheselu were a violation of the independence of Justice

The Judicial Inspection (IJ) established that the recent statements by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, referring to Jean Uncheselu, the prosecutor who decided to press charges against the Prime Minister in the “Turceni- Rovinari” have affected the independence of the legal system. The report issued by prosecutors was sent to the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM).
According to IJ, the statements made by Victor Ponta after he was officially accused in the case, affect the independence and prestige of justice.
The Supreme Council of Magistrates will establish at the next meeting of the plenum whether they will act upon the conclusion of the report issued by legal inspectors.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta had written on Facebook, on September 17, after the announcement made by DNA that they were pressing charges against him, that “the only issue in this country is the obsession of a totally unprofessional prosecutor to advance in his career by inventing and imagining false facts and situations of over ten years ago.”
One day later, the management of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) notified the Judicial Inspection, demanding them to check whether the statements made by Prime Minister Victor Ponta after he was sued affected the independence of the legal system.

The CSM notification is a result of a request by the National Anti-Corruption Department. The institution filed a request to the Supreme Council of Magistrates on September 18, demanding them to analyze whether the statements made by PM Victor Ponta may affect the independence of the legal system in its entirety, as the Anti-Corruption prosecutors considered that the “denigrating statements” made by the Prime Minister affect the professional reputation of the prosecutor that had conducted the inquiry in his file and of prosecutors enforced to decide over the legality and fairness of the solution ordered in the respective file – pressing charges.
“The respective statement is all the more aggravating as the documents edited by the prosecutor are verified by his hierarchic superiors under the aspects of legality and fairness, according to Criminal Procedure Code stipulations. Therefore, the statements made by Ponta Victor-Viorel, given the position he holds, have a powerful impact on public opinion, and they might undermine and affect the institution the prosecutor is working for, as well as the independence of the legal system”, DNA pointed out.
Asked by journalists, at the end of the PSD Executive Committee meeting on September 21 whether he maintains his statements regarding prosecutor Uncheselu, PM Victor Ponta declared that he was merely defending himself, under the circumstances of being unjustly accused.

“You mentioned his name (the prosecutor’s name, editor’s note). I did not mention his name. I apologize that, in a democratic country, I dared to express my point of view as well. When somebody accuses you unjustly and making up facts, I think that in a society with a reasonable pretence of democracy, unlike totalitarian regimes, you have the right to defend yourself. (…) I believe that it is a right of mine to face the judge and say my point of view. What do you want me to do? Tell that false things are true? Anyone could understand that those things are false”, Ponta declared at the end of the PSD Executive Committee meeting.
On September 17, almost three months and a half after an inquiry was initiated against him in the “Turceni-Rovinari” file and after five “visits” to DNA, Victor Ponta was sued for offences he allegedly committed as a lawyer, respectively issuing false documents under private signature, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering. According to DNA prosecutors, during October 2007 – December 2008, the individual lawyer’s office Victor-Viorel Ponta was paid by SCA “Sova and Associates” the sum of RON 181,439.98 for activities that were not actually completed.

Victor Ponta is the first Prime Minister sued while in public office, after December 1989.

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