Justice Minister Raluca Pruna said on Thursday that she is not worried that the ‘cruising speed’ in respect to the fight against corruption would have to suffer, as Romania has reached an institutional maturity.
“The fight against corruption in Romania has reached an institutional maturity level from which it is hard to return. It is true that we reached this maturity level also due to our strategic partners, who during these years had a very powerful message concerning the need to efficiently combat high corruption. The institutions have reached a maturity level which they also owe to the public in Romania and I would make an appeal to what happened one year ago, when the public, the civil society cried in the streets ‘corruption kills’. I am not concerned that the cruising speed in respect to the fight against corruption would necessarily have to suffer,” Raluca Pruna told Digi 24 private television broadcaster.
Asked if she feels that among politicians there would be a certain trend against the anticorruption institutions, Raluca Pruna replied that it is “something we can all see.”
“It is not just a feeling, it is something we can all see, regardless of our working with the Justice Ministry or being mere citizens. There is a natural and reasonable temptation of the one who feels that he might become a criminal law subject of placing under a shade of a doubt too much independence of the judicial institutions, mostly of those institutions like the DNA [National Anticorruption Directorate], which they say would be so much independent as to threaten them. I could see with satisfaction that the DNA and the judicial institutions have not let themselves intimidated and I believe this is the most important thing,” the Justice Minister replied.
Raluca Pruna added that there have often been direct attacks on prosecutors combating corruption in Romania and that sometimes the acceptable limits have been surpasses, however she believes that the DNA prosecutors and judges aren’t intimidated by these attacks.
She said that the 10 percent acquittal rate in courts in DNA cases is acceptable, taking into account that, for instance, in Germany this rate is 25 percent.
“Maybe the DNA prosecutors go to court with a case when they know they have a very solid body of evidence and it is well that they do so. I don’t believe that a rate of 90 percent sentences is something that should worry anyone. On the contrary, it is a measure of DNA’s efficiency,” Pruna underscored.