Fighting against corruption, tax evasion, recovering prejudices or providing the framework for the peoples’ fundamental rights, will continue to be priorities of the Public Ministry (MP) in 2017, the Prosecutor General of Romania Augustin Lazar stated on Wednesday at Iasi.
“Fighting against corruption, standard offenses related to corruption, as well as office offenses, such as abuse of office, conflict of interest, negligence at work, deeds committed by public servants, will continue to be an essential priority of the Public Ministry. Also, evasion, smuggling, money laundry, deeds affecting the national budget, from where public servants’ salaries come, from where salaries making the country work come”, Augustin Lazar stated.
According to him, recovering prejudices is another priority of the Public Ministry.
“I have to tell you that ANABI – the National Agency for the Management of Impounded Assets, has been operationalized and it works better and better. It will be a very valuable partner for the Public Ministry I recovering prejudices”, Augustin Lazar added.
The Attorney General also said that there are also some “challenges” for the Public Ministry.
“The quality of the prosecution acts must continue to be followed. Public opinion has become very sensitive to the issues related to the quality of discussion. There are cases like restitutions or acquittals, which are normal in the end, within certain reasonable limits of our activity, they are used in the public debate like weapons in the confrontation between different opinions (…) We must be able to diminish as much as possible these procedural incidents occurred during the criminal trial”, stated the Prosecutor General.
He mentioned that another challenge is to provide the required framework for the exercise of the peoples’ fundamental rights.
“Public opinion is increasingly sensitive concerning the respect of the fundamental rights. It’s a European matter. ECHR issued numerous decisions in various activity fields, which involve the respect of the fundamental rights which we have to know and apply (…) This will continue to be a challenge for the Public Ministry”, Lazar added.
Lazar also referred to the volume of some complicate cases that became old “because it’s hard to instrument big criminal prosecution cases, having dozens and hundreds of volumes”, pointing out that the Judicial Police doesn’t have the required resources.
“We know very well that during 2016, an important number of officers of the Judicial Police, very well professionally prepared, retired, and they were replaced by young people (…) who have to learn, to become good professionals of the Judicial Police and to support the investigation of these cases. Of course, any similar situation has two aspects. The empty cup – many professionals were retired. The full cu is that an investment in future was made in new members of Judicial Police, who have a very high quality as people of professional culture. They have to be taught what they have to do and they have to be specialized in area of a great interest to justice” Augustin Lazar stated.
In this context, he mentioned that money laundry, tax evasion, smuggling, economic and financial offenses are “force” areas.
“Such offenses must be investigated by people who are very well professionally prepared and very experienced. Only this way, the budget’s resources will be assured, and only this way the country will work with a protected and well-designed budget”, the Prosecutor General concluded.
Augustin Lazar was present at Iasi, on Wednesday, to the review meeting of the Iasi Court of Appeal.