Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi is called in for hearings on Monday at the Parliamentary Investigation Committee into the 2009 presidential elections.
“The committee’s bureau received the proposal that Mrs Codruta Kovesi be called in for hearing on Monday, the committee’s bureau is to make the decision. The Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) decision intervened, saying that, based on the principle of collaboration between the institutions, the people exercising a position in a public institution that is not under parliamentary control are bound to come in. That’s why I think it is our duty to reiterate this invitation,” President of Investigation Committee into the 2009 presidential elections Oana Florea stated on Thursday, at the Parliament Palace.
She added that proposals would be made in the committee’s bureau to call in other people who did not come in at the hearings.
Oana Florea mentioned that if Ms. Kovesi does not come yet again for the hearings, the committee will have two options to go on: either refer the case to the Ministry of Justice or file a criminal complaint against the DNA Chief Prosecutor.
“We will do what the law and the regulation say, the decision will be made by all our colleagues, through vote. Either we will lodge with the head of the institution, because, as the Constitution says, prosecutors carry out their activity under the authority of the Minister of Justice, so we will have to lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Justice, or, if the colleagues consider it appropriate, Mr. Plesoianu’s alternative (notifying the prosecution bodies for obstruction of the committee’s activity by repeatedly failing to come in),” Florea said.
In his turn, PSD deputy Liviu Plesoianu, a member of the committee, said that this is Kovesi’s last chance to save the honour of the institution she is leading.
“Ms. Kovesi has been invited twice so far, it is Ms. Kovesi’s last chance to save the honour of the institution she is leading. It is no longer about her rule, it has to do with the institution she is leading, and as such we are readily expecting her on Monday,” Plesoianu said.
US Ambassador Klemm maintains confidence in work of DNA chief
Ambassador of the US in Bucharest Hans Klemm stated on Thursday that the US Government and the US Embassy maintain their confidence in the work conducted by Laura Codruta Kovesi, as head of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
When asked, at the end of a meeting with Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Liviu Dragnea, what can he say about the scandal involving the DNA chief, Ambassador Klemm, initially stated that he doesn’t have a specific statement regarding the Kovesi case.
Asked whether or not the US Government and the US Embassy in Bucharest continue to endorse Laura Codruta Kovesi, the Ambassador answered he is still confident regarding her work, because her activity was analyzed by the judicial authorities of Romania.
When asked if Kovesi is in danger (of losing the office -e.n.) because of this scandal, the US Ambassador stated that the decision should be made by the Romanian authorities.
Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Liviu Dragnea had a meeting on Thursday with Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy to Romania Dean Thompson, on the occasion of concluding his activity in Romania. The meeting was also attended by US Ambassador Hans Klemm.
Elena Udrea: I’ll lodge with CSM complaint against Laura Codruta Kovesi; I believe the guilty act committed is instigation to unlawful repression
On Thursday, during a new court hearing in the dossier concerning the financing of the 2009 presidential elections campaign, Elena Udrea stated, at the High Court of Cassation and Justice, that she will lodge with the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) a complaint against DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, being of the opinion that the guilty act she committed consists of unlawful repression, adding that “it would be mandatory” for the DNA Chief Prosecutor to be dismissed.
When leaving the CSM, where she was heard by the Section for Prosecutors in the case concerning the dismissal request lodged against her by the DNA Chief Prosecutor, Prosecutor Mihaela Moraru had stated that the tension between her and the DNA Chief Prosecutor appeared because she had refused to comply with some of Kovesi’s requests. She gave as example a dossier in which Kovesi asked that Elena Udrea be detained but she ordered she be remanded on conditional bail instead.
“I’ve talked with the lawyer. I understand that instigation to unlawful repression, which I believe is the guilty act that Ms Kovesi committed, is not punished in the Criminal Code. We’ll see how this complaint can be drafted. I’ll clearly lodge it with the CSM, not that I have any confidence in the CSM led by Judge Ghena, but I’ll lodge a complaint with the CSM,” Elena Udrea stated.
The ex-minister said that “it would be mandatory” for DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi to be dismissed because “she has destroyed the confidence in justice.”
“I don’t believe there is in this civilised and democratic world any situation in which a chief prosecutor would stay in office after everything that has been discovered. From the lies she’s permanently saying, the unprincipled and occult relations with the political class, with businessmen, to the abuses she commits in the office she holds,” Udrea emphasised, adding that people who have the ability to dismiss Kovesi continue to support her.
Udrea added she does not believe she has chances to a fair trial in Romania, as long as the Romanian President supports Kovesi and the Prosecutor General is one of her “accomplishers.”
“What chance do I have to a fair trial in this institution, where the dossier in which I am today indicted over the 2009 elections is tried precisely by the same panel of judges that convicted me in the ‘Bute Boxing Gala’ [dossier] several months ago. What is the reason for which today I am a citizen with limited rights? Because that’s what Ms Kovesi decided, that’s what Mr Coldea decided and that’s what the flunkeys from our judiciary are carrying out,” Elena Udrea added.
Elena Udrea, Ioana Basescu – ex-President Traian Basescu’s eldest daughter, Gheorghe Nastasia, Victor Tarhon, Ioan Silviu Wagner – former Oil Terminal CEO, businessman Giovanni Mario Francescu – Ioana Basescu’s ex-lover, and political consultant Dan Andronic are indicted in the dossier concerning the presidential campaign of 2009.
“Defendant Udrea Elena Gabriela was the link between the persons who were illegally obtaining the money and the campaign service providers. She was running an informal campaign staff for one of the candidates and, in this capacity, she was coordinating both the procurement of campaign services and the persons who acted as intermediaries for the payments made, so that the sums of money would end up at the service providers. The remittance of the proceeds of crime was made via the signing of fictitious contracts with companies that were actually providing services in the elections campaign, namely street advertisement, printing of posters, media advertisement, building of webpages, press monitoring, organising of shows, consultancy services,” according to the prosecutors.