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Bucharest
September 21, 2020
JUSTICE

DNA’s Kovesi: I won’t step down just because I’ve stepped on defendants’ toes

The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA)’s chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi tells Agerpres in an interview on Tuesday that she won’t resign just because ‘she has stepped on defendants’ toes.’

Kovesi deems she had done her work which she was appointed and is paid for.

“No, I won’t step down. (…) I’ve been appointed chief-prosecutor with the DNA to do my job. And the job of the DNA is to investigate high-level corruption. And this is what I did. This is what I’m paid for. I have no reason whatsoever to step down only because I’ve stepped on defendants’ toes,” said the DNA head when asked whether she intended to resign following the recent rows.

She recommended for a calculation to be covered of the assets belonging to the persons investigated by the DNA and who have “the possibility to pay certain companies to intimidate people.”

“There, you’ll see what a huge amount of money is piled up. Defendants who have the money to pay companies for intimidation, for harassment, for lobby in order to issue all kinds of reports and public pressure upon the prosecutors and justices, upon the judiciary,” added Kovesi.

The DNA head draws attention that ‘the attacks’ do target the entire judicial system.

“These attacks are not aimed only at the DNA or me or DNA prosecutors, they are aimed at the entire judiciary. Well, when making untrue statements that a case is fabricated, when a case is judged by various courts of law, in various structures, by justices with different levels of the courts of law, we are talking of a pressure upon the entire judicial system. Who is interested in undermining the judiciary? Who’s interested in discrediting the judiciary? Lately, no word was spoken on the court hearings, on certain files that were completed. All that the culprits say is sometimes taken as truth. We cannot come out and comment the accusations we are thrown at in the public space by people we are investigating. We can only reply in the files, through the proofs we have, through the answers to the exceptions and demands they claim, at the requests the justices send to us,” the DNA head said.

When asked whether anybody requested her resignation, she said no.

 

“I never attended private events organized by people with criminal cases”

 

DNA chief prosecutor  claimed, in the same interview, that she has not attended any private events organised by people with criminal cases but only events organized by heads of institutions or public institutions, where she “cannot censor” the guest list.

“It is very strange for me to realize now how many friends I have had, so to speak. In my institutional capacity, I was invited to certain events organized by heads of institutions or public institutions, by embassies, public events or smaller events in which I participated. I responded to the invitations because one of my attributions as chief prosecutor is to represent the institution. I participated in events in which I was invited in my institutional capacity that were also attended by politicians and other people who had no criminal cases at the time but who subsequently had criminal cases at DNA or in other institutions,” states Kovesi, asked whether she attended private events alongside politicians.

She admits that at the public events she attended she also met with people under DNA investigation.

“Of course, at such events, I have come across people being investigated by DNA, especially at public events. But I cannot censor the guest list at the events where I am invited. I cannot say: ‘This person should or shouldn’t come because I am from DNA and that person might be at some point investigated by DNA or is already investigated.’ But this fact, of me attending events organised by heads of institutions or by public institutions, does not make me friends with those people. It doesn’t mean that if there is a group picture or a picture taken at a certain event, I am friends with all people in that group. I have never had private meetings with Sebastian Ghita, I never went on holidays or traveling with him. I never emailed him or talked to him on the phone. I never attended private events he organised. I was not, I am not and never will be a friend of his,” the DNA chief specified.

About possible meetings with Sebastian Ghita before he became a defendant, Kovesi states that she never had private encounters with him.

“There never were any such private encounters in any place. The meetings we had took place at the headquarters of public institutions or organised by the heads of public institutions. We didn’t have any private meetings,” declared DNA Chief-Prosecutor.

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