General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar (photo) stated on Tuesday that he did not talk with President Iohannis about concrete case files, but that the Head of State’s overall message was that certain cases that are under public scrutiny should be expedited in order “to clarify certain accusations.” Likewise, he warned that the deadlines on which cases are sent to court are set by the prosecutors handling the investigation, “not by other state authorities.”
Augustin Lazar said that the Revolution case file will be finalised later next year, pointing out that the talks with President Klaus Iohannis took place against the backdrop in which representatives of the 21 December Association were received in audience at the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Presidency.
“It’s true that the Revolution case file is unfortunately running behind schedule, however, just like other old case files, it represents a priority of the current tenure. We continue to have a very clear investigation plan, a timetable of criminal prosecution actions with deadlines we have established so as to be able to handle them within an absolutely reasonable timeframe from now on. We have set as an objective finalising the Miners’ Riots case file by the end of this year, which entails significant effort on the part of military prosecutors. The Revolution case file continues to be handled and it will near completion later next year. There are no cases impossible to solve. The deadlines are established by the prosecutors who are working on them, they evaluate the paperwork they still have to fill in, they discuss them with their hierarchical superiors, they themselves assess their need for resources and time. Not other Romanian state authorities. But I understood the President’s public message, not just the President’s; the civil society, the public is waiting for these cases to be clarified. We have a responsibility to solve them,” Augustin Lazar stated on Tuesday.
Referring to the President’s request for certain cases to be solved, Lazar pointed out that the discussion with the Head of State took place against the backdrop in which representatives of the 21 December Association were received in audience at both the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Presidency.
“It was the context in which representatives of the 21 December Association were received in audience at both the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Presidency in order to inquire about the stage of the criminal prosecution in the cases known as historic cases. In this context, I gave assurances that the case files concerned are being handled, all resources are there in order for them to respect the deadlines set, that there is the will to handle them thoroughly. The discussion also touched upon the fact that there are case files under public scrutiny that have to be expedited in order to clarify for the public opinion various accusations levied publicly. The President issued a message, saying the cases the public opinion is waiting to be clarified should be handled, which we will,” Romanian General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar stated on Tuesday morning.
Lazar clarifies relationship with DNA Chief Prosecutor’s father: It’s not friendship, I appreciate him on professional level
Asked whether he is friends with National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi’s father, Augustin Lazar said they are acquainted.
“If you look, you will see he is the member of a generation of distinguished prosecutors who are now retired, around ten years more mature than my generation. He is living in a different locality I was visiting only occasionally. We met, I appreciate him as a professional member of the Public Ministry, but what’s with this friendship idea?! Because these things have to be based on something. I had good relations with him and with other prosecutors who worked with me. He was working at a local prosecutor’s office, I was working at the Alba Iulia Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office,” the General Prosecutor pointed out.
Last Friday, President Iohannis offered details about the meeting he recently had with Augustin Lazar. “I’m interested in all state institutions working very well. So then I noticed that one thing that can be significantly improved, if we are talking about prosecutor’s offices, is the expediency with which they are working and my request came in this sense. It would be unnatural and counterproductive for case files that garner enormous public attention, and that is why I gave older examples so I’m not misunderstood – examples such as the Revolution Case, the Miners’ Riots Case –, to remain under the limelight for so long without us having conclusions from prosecutors. I believe it’s very easy to understand. And when I express a point of view that concerns Romania, then everyone has to remember I don’t represent solely the Romanian state, I represent society too. And if the Romanian society has the pretension for institutions to function very well and for such issues to be solved expediently then I feel called upon to say it. I’m a mediator between the state and society. I don’t represent the judiciary; I don’t exclusively represent society either. But my interest is for things to function so well that both are pleased with the results,” the President explained.
In what concerns the alleged friendship between General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar and her father, when the former was nominated at the helm of the General Prosecutor’s Office, Laura Codruta Kovesi denied the existence of personal relations between her family and any of the nominees.
After Hotnews published an article on “the big friendship between Augustin Lazar and prosecutor Ioan Lascar, Laura Codruta Kovesi’s father,” the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA pointed out: “I have nothing to do with any candidate. You wrote we are friends. It’s not so. We last talked in 2012. I worked with all 4 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.”