Justice Minister Tudorel Toader decided on Wednesday to refer to the Judiciary Inspectorate General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar’s refusal to make available to the parliamentary inquiry committee a copy of the file on the 2009 presidential election. On Wednesday morning, Toader stated that it is not the case for Augustin Lazar (photo) to ask the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) whether or not he provide the parliamentary committee inquiring into the presidential ballot with these documents of the Public Prosecution Service.
“I am convinced that the attorney general knows his duties and I am convinced that the attorney general knows how to perform these duties and I do not think it is appropriate for him to ask the CSM whether or not to provide those documents,” Toader said at the main offices of the Ministry of Justice, before meeting AG Lazar.
Justice Ministry: AG Lazar’s refusal to send documents to inquiry committee deemed in breach with principle of loyal institutional cooperation
The Justice Ministry said on Wednesday that the refusal of Attorney General Augustin Lazar to make available to the parliamentary inquiry committee a copy of the 2009 presidential election file “does not agree with the principle of loyal cooperation between institutions.”
“On Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice referred to the Judiciary Inspectorate the refusal of Mr. Augustin Lazar, the Attorney General of Romania, to provide the special inquiry committee with a copy of file No. 213 /P/ 2017 registered with the Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics Section of the Prosecutor’s Office with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation, along with the testimonies of the persons heard, necessary to learn the truth in the case that is the object of the activity of the special inquiry committee regarding preliminary checks in connection with disciplinary accountability,” the Justice Ministry said Wednesday in a press statement.
According to the ministry, the notification is based on the fact that Augustin Lazar’s refusal to act as an attorney general of Romania does not comply with the principle of loyal cooperation between institutions, the principle of loyalty to the Constitution, the provisions of the Constitution of Romania Article (5), Article 61 (1), Article 54 (2) and Article 131 (1), as interpreted by the Constitutional Court’s case-law.
AG Lazar argues refusal to submit 2009 election file to parliamentary committee not arbitrary decision
Attorney General Augustin Lazar told Justice Minister Tudorel Toader on Wednesday that his decision not to respond to the request of the parliamentary committee to send a copy of the 2009 presidential election file is the expression of a well-founded decision-making process and “not an arbitrary decision.”
Lazar had a telephone conversation with Toader on Wednesday, informing the justice minister that he cannot meet the request of the parliamentary committee to make available a copy of the file on the 2009 election because there are no legal provisions for him to do so.
“Augustin Lazar, Attorney General with the Prosecution Service of the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (PICCJ), had a telephone conversation with Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on August 16, 2017. During the discussion, the attorney general shared with the justice minister the point of view of the PICCJ regarding the request of the parliamentary committee inquiring into aspects of the 2009 elections to send copies of the documents regarding criminal prosecution procedures carried out in a case solved by the Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics Section. Augustin Lazar reiterated the opinion expressed by the PICCJ and sent to the committee on July 14, 2017, according to which the request cannot be dealt with, since there are no legal provisions allowing the transmission of photocopies of criminal files to a parliamentary committee or to any other extrajudicial institution, in general,” PICCJ said Wednesday in a press statement.
The AG’s Office notes that the decision not to comply with the request of the parliamentary committee is “the expression of a well-founded, rigorous and staged decision-making process” based on studies conducted at the level of the Supreme Court.”
About his request to the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), Lazar argues that it was justified, among other things, by the unprecedented character of the committee’s request, with likely impact and consequences on the entire judiciary.