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September 24, 2021

Tariceanu criticizes Justice Minister for “double standard” approach regarding appointments of Prosecutor General and DNA chief

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Co-Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu criticized on Monday the way in which Justice Minister Raluca Pruna announced last week the reinvestment of Laura Codruta Kovesi at the helm of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), arguing that legal provisions had been breached.

“I am not talking about people. We are talking about principles and about legal provisions that the minister, this way, breached and disregarded. The legal procedures, as we have seen, for the Prosecutor General office, too, I foresee submission of applications, files and everything that is connected to the evaluation of candidates. It is not a contest, it is an evaluation of the candidates as far as I understood, with this proposal to be submitted to the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) for the president to make the appointments,” Tariceanu stated in a press conference.

Tariceanu also noted that the Justice Minister chose to follow the procedure only in the case of the Prosecutor General.

“Since, including in connection to the two prosecutors, the minister stated at the beginning of the term that these procedures will be followed, we see now, all of a sudden, that she skips what was convened before and I see that she wants to observe this procedure only for the appointment of the Prosecutor General, while for the DNA she found a shortcut, the announcement during the press conference,” Tariceanu stated.

The ALDE co-chairman added that the first obligation of a Justice Minister is to show that he or she obeys the law, and that the prime minister should warn her in this respect.

“If she does not comply with the law, we have lower expectations from everyone else and it is something I want to underline and bring to the attention of the public opinion after the way in which, for the umpteenth time, the Justice Minister makes a mistake.

Tariceanu also stated that this was a “discouraging message for the other prosecutors, “seeing that there are certain reserved positions, from the start, for agreed people.”

“I believe a professional career matter must be the same for all and for this opportunity to be offered. I noticed that the subject seemed to pass almost unnoticed in the press and it seems to me that such behavior is a mistake especially for the Justice Minister, who committed to transparency, to respect the law. I thought she had learnt lessons better in Brussels. Not only this, even the recommendation made in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) is for conducting these procedures in a lawful way and not for announcements made in a festive way at press conferences. Perhaps Mrs Minister can take this into account,” Tariceanu stated.

Last week Justice Minister Raluca Pruna announced that she understands to assume the office she holds by enforcing the provisions of the law on the proposal to reinvest Chief Prosector Laura Codruta Kovesi.

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