Petre Toba on Thursday announced having decided to tender his resignation as interior minister to avoid getting the Interior Ministry mired in a public scandal ahead of the general election.
Previously, Prime Minister Ciolos said it would be best for Interior Minister Toba to step down.
“One thing is clear, irrespective of what member of the Movement would be involved: when my signature is affixed to a proposal for appointment or dismissal, the person involved should resign or else I will be asking him or her to leave. (…) Obviously, given the circumstances, it would be best to him and the Government for him to leave,” said Ciolos about the situation of Minister Toba.
PM Ciolos accepts Petre Toba’s resignation
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Thursday evening accepted the resignation tendered by Petre Toba as interior minister.
Anti-corruption head asks President for statement on prosecution of Home Affairs Minister Toba
The head of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi has asked Romania’s President for a statement on a request for the criminal prosecution of the incumbent Internal Affairs Minister, Petre Toba, in connection with the aiding and abetting the perpetrator in the case of former DIPI police intelligence heads.
In a press statement by the DNA to Agerpres on Thursday, the request for the criminal prosecution of Minister Toba is said to currently involve aspects leading to a reasonable suspicion that on 1 April 2016, when the DNA was investigating in relation to file 20/P/2016 (under which senator Gabriel Oprea, the home affairs minister at the time, and other persons were sent to court), Petre Toba, in his capacity as minister of internal affairs refused to start off the procedure of partial declassification of some documents.
According to the DNA, the minister, Petre Toba, refused in a discretionary manner, to commence the procedure to declassify some pieces of legislation the breach of which concerns the substance of abuse of office and embezzlement, meaning a situation that excludes the protection of classified information, according to Article 3 of Law 182/2002 on the protection of classified information, since it would lead to ignoring Article 10 with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the right to a fair trial that includes the right of information on the criminal charges.
“The lack of transparence in the management of the operative funds made a mockery of the operative funds and achieving national security. Goods were acquired with no connection whatsoever to the general interest of maximum importance, as evidence shows,” say the prosecutors.
The source specifies that in absolutely similar situations (misuse of funds for witness protection, misappropriation of funds, respectively) Minister Toba operated quite the opposite: he declassified MAI regulations under file 596/P/2015, but denied declassification under file 20/P/2016.
“So, Minister Toba in January 2016 yielded to the demand from the DNA and declassified rules for the administration and control of the funds for witness protection, managed by a MAI department, namely the National Office for Witness Protection (ONPM), with some rules being absolutely identical with the ones regulating the administration of operative funds, as the funds managed by the ONPM are a special category of operative funds,” says the DNA release.
The request was being attached the DNA prosecutors report alongside 9 volumes of the criminal prosecution file.