Prosecutor Augustin Lazar, the Justice Minister’s nomination for the office of General Prosecutor, stated for Mediafax that he does not owe his professional career to anyone and that he does not personally know President Klaus Iohannis.
On Friday, Justice Minister Raluca Pruna presented the Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) her nomination for the office of General Prosecutor – Augustin Lazar, general prosecutor of the Alba Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office.
The High Court’s General Prosecutor is appointed by the Romanian President, following the Justice Minister’s nomination and the Superior Magistracy Council’s consultative opinion, from among the prosecutors that have at least 10 years experience as judges or prosecutors. The appointee will serve a three-year term with the possibility of being reappointed only once.
“I did not meet President Klaus Iohannis, I didn’t have the honour. I will probably meet him at some point. I don’t owe my professional career to anyone. I honourably passed my exams, I have passed four general prosecutor exams without knowing anyone,” Augustin Lazar stated for Mediafax after allegations were made that he personally knows Klaus Iohannis.
Judicial sources stated that ever since the start of the 2000s, police structures located in Alba County received complaints about real estate restitutions that the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, whose president Klaus Iohannis was, benefitted from.
After many years, some of those complaints reached the Alba Iulia Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office, where Augustin Lazar was deputy general prosecutor. The cases were closed. Referring to this, magistrate Augustin Lazar stated: “We’ve solved a multitude of cases in which rulings were made for a multitude of persons, some of them public. They were all legal and thorough. Any solution can be challenged.”
Augustin Lazar has 34 years of experience as prosecutor, holding leadership positions during 18 of them. He is general prosecutor of the Alba Iulia Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office since 2013. From this position, he coordinated and handled complex cases, including the search for and repatriation of the treasures stolen from the Sarmizegetusa Regia archaeological site, a case that called for international judicial cooperation, and the investigation into the crash of the airplane flown by Adrian Iovan.
Prior to that, from 2001 to 2012, he was deputy general prosecutor within the same institution.
Augustin Lazar is a university professor at the ‘1 Decembrie 1918’ University of Alba Iulia.
He is 58 and has been a magistrate for 34 years. He held leadership positions in 18 of those years.
From 1998 to 2001, Augustin Lazar was head of the General Prosecutor’s Office’s Criminal Prosecution and Forensics section. He reached the helm of the Alba Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office in 2013, after spending 10 years as deputy.
“As general prosecutor of the Alba Iulia Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office, he coordinated and handled complex cases, such as the search for and repatriation of the treasures stolen from the Sarmizegetusa Regia archaeological site, a case that called for vast international judicial cooperation. Prior to that, as chief prosecutor of the anticorruption, criminal prosecution and forensics section of the High Court, he directly took part in the action of reforming and modernizing the Public Ministry, an action that generated the premises of creating the specialized structures of this institution,” a Justice Ministry communiqué reads.
Judicial sources quoted by romaniacurata.ro state that Augustin Lazar is among those who brought prosecutors Daniel Morar, Lucian Papici and Ovidiu Budusan to Bucharest.
Augustin Lazar has authored several works on criminology, forensics and the combating of cultural goods trafficking.
In 2000, he was awarded the ‘Loyal Service’ National Order and received an appreciation award from the U.S. Justice Department.
The magistrate claims that the main goals he has have to do with the reformation of the Public Ministry.
“It’s a proposal, I’ve prepared a project for the exercise of managerial prerogatives, one that I will present to the Superior Council of the Magistracy. The project seeks the managerial reset of the Public Ministry’s leadership and the imparting of a new energetic impulse in order for it to work efficiently. First of all, this is about the objectives imposed as part of the MCV, on combating corruption and other crimes in priority domains such as the recovery of damages. Another goal has to do with changing the mentality of the Romanian prosecutors, a European mentality that entails knowing the European law and the European legislation in order to have an operative role in other jurisdictions, a new mentality of European prosecutor that would generate the results Romanian citizens are expecting,” Augustin Lazar stated.
“As part of the dialogue with the Justice Minister, Prosecutor Augustin Lazar proved he has the managerial vision, determination and authority necessary to reform and consolidate the Public Ministry,” the Justice Ministry communiqué reads.
Four prosecutors have filed their bids for the position of Romania’s General Prosecutor: Augustin Lazar, Oana Haineala, Codrut Olaru and Gheorghe Ivan.
DNA’s Kovesi: I won’t comment the nomination, I have professional relations with all those taking part in the procedure
DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi stated on Friday that she has only professional relations with those who have entered the race for the leadership of the Public Ministry.
“I won’t comment on the nomination. I’ve worked with all four candidates during my 20 years of career and I have only professional relations with the colleagues taking part in the procedure. None of the candidates has personal relations with members of my family,” Kovesi stated for Agerpres when asked for her opinion on the fact that Augustin Lazar has been nominated for the office of General Prosecutor.
At the same time, Laura Codruta Kovesi denies the existence of personal relations between her family and any of the candidates proposed or nominated.
Following a Hotnews article on “Augustin Lazar’s great friendship with prosecutor Ioan Lascar, Laura Codruta Kovesi’s father,” the DNA Director stated: “I have nothing to do with any candidate. You wrote we are friends. It’s not so. I haven’t talked with Lazar since 2012. I’ve worked with all 4 candidates in my 20 years of career and I have only professional relations with the colleagues taking part in the procedure. None of the candidates has personal relations with members of my family.”