The decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) that there is a juridical conflict between the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the Government in what concerns government emergency ordinance no.13 (OUG 13) shows that “backsliding” exists, ALDE MEP Norica Nicolai stated for RFI on Tuesday, adding that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi should resign.
“[CCR’s decision] is the first in recent years that very clearly consecrates the separation of powers in the state as a principle, noting that one side, in fact a component of the judicial branch, because the prosecutor is not a judicial power, it’s an auxiliary, is infringing on this principle, interfering in the activity of the executive branch and implicitly of the legislative branch. It’s a correct solution from a constitutional standpoint,” ALDE MEP Norica Nicolai stated for RFI.
Norica Nicolai said that the resignation of DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi is called for.
“I think that starting yesterday certain authorities should clean up their courtyard a bit. The fact that prosecutors – and in fact not the Prosecutor General’s Office – overstepped the prerogatives they have according to the Constitution proves we are facing a dangerous phenomenon, a phenomenon of backsliding. This calls for a resignation, because this would be the solution the moment you overstep your prerogatives out of various reasons, (…) [the resignation] of those who accepted doing this, I’m talking about Ms Kovesi,” Norica Nicolai said.
The MEP added that democratic institutions must be consolidated.
“Is the DNA a political actor or not, an answer is needed to this issue, we must start working a bit on consolidating democratic institutions,” Norica Nicolai said.
Tariceanu: DNA Chief’s refusal to resign following CCR decision shows the corruption of power
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu wrote on Facebook that the head of any institution that infringed a fundamental principle of democracy – the separation of powers – would have resigned following the decision adopted by the CCR on Monday, but the DNA Chief Prosecutor’s refusal to do so shows “the corruption of power.”
“In any rule of law, a decision such as the one adopted by the CCR would have been followed by the resignation of the head of the institution that infringed a fundamental principle of democracy: the separation of powers. Refusal to resign is yet more proof of what I would call the corruption of power. I said it before and I say it again: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Unfortunately, the DNA acted in line with the logic of the communist state’s oppressive institutions, convinced that they have all the power and that nobody can stand in their way. CCR’s decision is historic and I believe it stops the offensive of some undemocratic institutions intent on taking over all power in Romania,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu wrote on his Facebook page.
The holder of the second-highest office in the state also referred to the case of prosecutor Negulescu, who resigned from the magistracy following the leaking of conversations he had with the wife of a detained person, to whom he was offering details from a criminal file.
“In recent weeks, public opinion has found out compromising information about prosecutors who behaved in an undignified way considering the office held: they acted abusively, in line with the logic of someone who knows he/she has absolute power. Likewise, information has surfaced concerning protocols between the SRI [Romanian Intelligence Service] and the DNA [National Anticorruption Directorate], protocols that surpass by far the legal framework of relations between the two institutions. From low level to high level, from individual cases to institutional modus operandi, it’s visible how the cancer of corruption of power risks engulfing this whole system. So, a cleaning can no longer be postponed,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu points out.
“The CCR decision must bring to the forefront the infringement of the citizens’ rights and liberties too. The decision does not concern these rights per se, but their infringement is an unwanted effect of power drunkenness. I hope that my efforts, alongside the representatives of the associations of magistrates and a series of voices from civil society, will pay off. In today’s Romania, the citizens’ rights and liberties are being infringed, the citizens’ telephones are being tapped without a warrant, innocent people are being hounded by the judiciary that should serve justice, and Romania is losing hundreds of millions of euros at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). These things must be changed and I will continue to act to change them,” Tariceanu added.
“We are heading toward a republic of prosecutors”
Subsequently, on Monday evening, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated for RomaniaTV private broadcaster that the National Anticorruption Directorate “wants to introduce an oversight of the Government” and that Romania is heading toward “a republic of prosecutors.”
“What is happening today in Romania is not a dispute between two groups – those who want to continue the fight against corruption and others who allegedly oppose that. We are talking about something far more serious, we are talking about a battle for power between illegitimate and undemocratic institutions that have grabbed hold of power in recent years and the democratic ones – Parliament, Government – which represent the citizens’ option and vote. The DNA wants to introduce an oversight of the Government. It turns out I was not mistaken when I said we are heading toward a republic of prosecutors,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated for RomaniaTV.
The Senate Speaker also added that the Constitutional Court’s decision, adopted on Monday, “puts things back on their natural and legitimate course.”
“It’s very grave if we are glad we are returning to normality. We will have to wait for the substantiation of the Court’s decision, which will have to bring down a peg or two the action of some who are part of criminal prosecution structures. I believe there is no European country in which one could witness such actions carried out by prosecutors on the Government,” Tariceanu added.
Turcan: Demanding DNA Chief’s resignation – irresponsible act which shows obsession with sabotaging the act of justice
PNL Interim President Raluca Turcan has criticised PSD-ALDE’s demands for DNA Chief Prosecutors Laura Codruta Kovesi to resign, labelling them as an irresponsible act which shows its authors’ obsession with sabotaging the act of justice.
“I notice that a series of PSD and ALDE leaders are in a hurry to use for political purposes, in their war with the DNA, the decision the Constitutional Court adopted yesterday. They are demanding nothing short of the resignation of the head of the National Anticorruption Directorate. It’s an irresponsible act, which shows this group of parties’ transparent obsession with accomplishing the objectives of an agenda that is hidden from the electorate: sabotaging the act of justice,” Raluca Turcan worte on Facebook on Tuesday.
She gave as an example the way Victor Ponta, Prime Minister at the time, took part in a European Council meeting, something that the Constitutional Court deemed a juridical conflict between the Government and the Presidency without anyone from PSD asking him to resign at the time.
“Likewise, I remind the members of ALDE the CCR decision no.261/2015 concerning the Dan Sova case, which noted a constitutional conflict between the Senate, led by Calin Popescu Tariceanu, and the Prosecutor General. At that moment, Tariceanu did everything possible to protect Dan Sova, and the CCR censured that. I don’t recall Mr Tariceanu applying any sanctions on himself by resigning. In conclusion, I suggest the gentlemen from PSD and ALDE make an effort and abandon these permanent preoccupations to place themselves above the Law and seriously and responsibly preoccupy themselves with governing. Namely, they should respect the vote received, within the limits of the mandate they asked Romanians for during the elections campaign,” Turcan added.