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March 4, 2021

Traian Basescu continues skirmish with heads of DNA and ICCJ: Kovesi casually lies, appointing Livia Stanciu at CCR is a mistake

On Sunday evening, ex-President Traian Basescu accused National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi of lying in what concerns malfeasance in office, an offence which, in his opinion, is incorrectly defined within the Criminal Code, and claimed that the demands made are not to decriminalise but to redefine the offence.

“For me, Ms. Kovesi’s statement is shocking. I never saw another high state official lying so casually. So Ms. Kovesi is talking about the decriminalisation of malfeasance in office, but nobody asked for that. (…) It’s a big lie she is saying in public,” Traian Basescu stated in a talk-show on Romania TV.

He added that Romania’s Criminal Code contains an incorrect definition of malfeasance in office, which allows “prosecutors and judges to commit offences.”

“I propose a correct definition (for malfeasance in office – editor’s note) because no civil servant will know when his action is faulty. If we had a responsible judiciary it would notice two things: that we have a poor definition within the Criminal Code, and the correct definition is to be found in another Romanian law, I’m talking about the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which Romania ratified and which defines malfeasance in office in Article 19. What it [the judiciary] does today is going beyond any limit. We have a faulty definition in the Criminal Code, one that allows arrests when prosecutors feel like it, and we have Law 365 which ratified the New York Convention against Corruption, and I’m afraid that when prosecutors have a convention which, according to the Constitution, takes precedence before national legislation, and they don’t enforce it in letter and spirit, then they are committing malfeasance in office,” Basescu added.

In the ex-President’s opinion, nobody asked for the decriminalisation of malfeasance in office, but only for more clearly defining this offence.

“If it wasn’t me, then maybe Tariceanu asked for that, maybe Ponta and I’m not aware, maybe Dragnea did, but what she publicly said is a big lie. Nobody asked for decriminalisation. I believe malfeasance in office can stay. The Romanian Criminal Code has an incorrect definition of malfeasance in office, one that allows prosecutors and judges to commit abuses. How could you file a malfeasance in office charge based on an unclear definition,” the Head of State added.

The Constitutional Court will rule, on Wednesday, June 15, on the exception of unconstitutionality concerning the Criminal Code article that defines malfeasance in office. The exception was raised by former DIICOT chief Alina Bica, currently indicted for corruption.


Basescu: Livia Stanciu appointed at CCR because she did Iohannis two major favours


Ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Sunday evening that the appointment of Livia Stanciu as Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) judge is a sign of goodwill from President Iohannis, after Stanciu did the Head of State two favours in the incompatibility case and the case concerning the house in Sibiu.

“I believe appointing her there is a mistake. I know about her some things that unpleasantly impressed me during my second term. It’s true, after I left, when the handcuffs row started,” Traian Basescu stated on Romania TV.

He said that in his opinion Livia Stanciu was thus allegedly rewarded by Iohannis for “the major favours” she allegedly did in the case in which the President was accused of incompatibility, before the presidential elections, and the case concerning his real-estate assets.

“She was appointment primarily because she did Iohannis two major favours. First – she did not declare him incompatible before or during the [presidential] elections campaign. Second – using influence, a lawsuit lost for good, in which judges established the use of forgery, was sent to a more favourable or controlled court of appeals. Why was the Arges Court of Appeals chosen?” Traian Basescu said.

He also mentioned the Rarinca Case, another reason why he would not have appointed Livia Stanciu at the CCR.

“I’m not saying there were negotiations. I’m saying it’s Iohannis’s thanks to her for getting him out of trouble twice. In one case he would not have been President had ANI’s request been tried on time. I’m saying yes (he owes her his term in office – editor’s note) and this thing – the re-trial of a final court decision – happened in only two cases, in the Rarinca Case and the case concerning Iohannis’s house. It’s certainly a gesture of gratitude for goodwill,” Basescu added.

He also stated he does not accuse Livia Stanciu of lack of professionalism. “In her case the problem has to do with character, she made an allowance,” Traian Basescu added.

Last week, President Klaus Iohannis appointed Livia Stanciu judge at the Constitutional Court. Currently President of the High Court of Justice (ICCJ), Stanciu will start her stint at the CCR in July, when the membership of the Court is renewed.


New attack against magistrates


On Monday, ex-President Traian Basescu once again came out swinging against magistrates, launching another broadside against ICCJ President Livia Stanciu. Basescu claimed that he too has the right to accuse magistrates, after one prosecutor accused him that he could have intervened in Mircea Basescu’s legal case in his capacity as President.

“Yesterday evening, I stated on a television channel that President Iohannis appointed Ms. Livia Stanciu judge at the CCR as a reward for the favours she did. I was referring to the postponement of the incompatibility trial and the approval of a re-trial and change of venue in the trial concerning the house in Sibiu. And I maintain my statement. Many cried ‘blasphemy.’ I categorically say – no!”

“And here is why. As long as at my brother’s trial last week, during the Constanta Court of Appeals’ public court proceedings, a DNA prosecutor stated that I, as President of Romania, could have intervened in favour of Bercea Mondial at the Craiova Court of Appeals, without any trace of evidence, I feel absolutely free to make any kind of statement about any magistrate in Romania.”

“After all, magistrates have an obligation to a modicum of decency too,” Traian Basescu claimed, being quoted by stiripesurse.ro.

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