U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm has stated, in an interview for news.ro, that he “fully” supports President Klaus Iohannis’s recent message that he would not nominate as Premier a person convicted for corruption, and has congratulated the Head of State for his support in the anticorruption fight.
“I congratulate President Iohannis for his very strong and constant support for Romania’s anticorruption fight. I also congratulate him for encouraging voters and parties to bring to power an upright and competent Government without corruption problems,” the ambassador said.
Asked for his opinion on Iohannis’s message concerning the appointment of a Premier who has no legal problems and who is not convicted for corruption, Klemm answered: “I’ll say it bluntly: I fully support the message.”
The U.S. official had in his own turn a message for Romanian voters on the verge of the start of the parliamentary elections campaign, encouraging them, just as he did in the local elections, to vote for competent and upright candidates.
Likewise, he said he expects the new Government and the new Parliament to be “upright and competent.”
“If Romania, if the new Government can assume these two concepts then I believe it will be very good both for Romanian-American relations as well as for Romanian citizens. The strategic partnership is in a very good place, on a very good trajectory, and Romania is in a very good place in this partnership. I have the confidence that Romania’s new Government will reflect these ideals of competence and integrity and will contribute to the future strengthening of relations with the U.S.,” the U.S. ambassador told news.ro.
“DNA Chief did an admirable job, but has created enemies, and it shows”
In his interview for news.ro, U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm praised National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi for the way she is managing the anticorruption fight, stating, against the backdrop of the recent scandals centred on her name, that she has made “enemies” out of the “fairly powerful” people she sent to jail and this is now showing.
Klemm stated that one of the dimensions in which Romania has actively contributed to the improvement of the strategic partnership with the U.S. is the “strengthening of democratic institutions,” including the judicial ones, such as the DNA, something that has transformed our country into “a veritable regional role model” in the fight against corruption.
The ambassador had a message of support for Laura Codruta Kovesi, believing that the results registered by the institution she leads are also owed to her leadership.
“It is the result of decisions and investments made over many years, but I believe it also speaks volumes about the leadership of the DNA. Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi has done an admirable job. Several years ago, the U.S. conferred to her the “Brave Romanian Women” award for the strength of her convictions, for her successful record as prosecutor and for her very brave efforts in the fight against corruption,” Hans Klemm said.
Asked for his opinion on the plagiarism and cover-up accusations levied against her in what concerns her doctoral thesis, the ambassador said that there are institutions that can verify these things but one should also consider that the DNA Chief Prosecutor sent to prison “fairly powerful people.”
“As Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, she has sentenced to prison some fairly powerful people. It’s not surprising she has enemies because of this and I believe you are seeing this right now. If there is any blemish on her activity, there are authorities that will be able to investigate and assess, but I strongly applaud her for her successful record in leading Romania’s anticorruption fight,” Hans Klemm stated for news.ro.
The diplomat also commented on the accusations levied by Romanian politicians against the prosecutors’ numerous decisions to place suspects under custody. Asked whether there is any truth to the criticism levied against the so-called “handcuffs spectacle” that political leaders are invoking, the ambassador said it is up to citizens to say how prosecutors and judges should behave.