Justice Minister Tudorel Toader criticised the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Monday, at the Supreme Magistracy Council’s (CSM) Section for Prosecutors, where the hearings regarding the Judicial Inspection’s audit continued, stating that it is not all right for a dossier from 2004 to be solved only in 2017, via joinder. Likewise, the Justice Minister also said he will propose – via the bill amending the Justice Laws – that background audits should take place at the Prosecutor’s Offices every four or five years.
“To have a penal dossier since 2004 and to solve it only via joinder, in 2017. The reasonable deadline, the expedience, the lack of a selective penal procedure is excluded. It expires under the statute of limitations so many times since 2005. There’s something not right there, it expires under the statute of limitations so many times since 2004. There are realities that the Judicial Inspection has ascertained and I believe these findings should be relayed to all prosecutor’s offices, not solely to those overseen, so that they, in turn, would take measures,” Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated at the CSM’s Section for Prosecutors, where Deputy Chief Inspector of the Judicial Inspection Gheorghe Stan was heard.
The minister explained his request for an audit at the DNA by stating that audits had not been carried out for 10 years, and, in this context, pointed out he will propose, via the bill amending the Justice Laws, that background audits should be carried out at the prosecutor’s offices every four or five years.
“From the moment I demanded this managerial audit I said – and I have the 2007 report – that such an assessment, such an audit, hadn’t been carried out in 10 years, and I received public explanations that 136 audits were carried out in the last 10 years. But a background assessment hadn’t been carried out since 2007 and my conclusion, which I will include in the bill amending the Justice Laws too, my conclusion is that at least once every five year, if that’s not too long, such a background audit should be carried out at each prosecutor’s office attached to the Court, to the High Court, namely we should all undergo this assessment. Maybe every five years is not good, maybe every four years, to coincide with the length of the mandate of the one who holds the leadership position, but it’s unnatural for others to be audited ten times in ten years while this or that entity should never be audited,” Tudorel Toader said at the CSM’s Section for Prosecutors.
Judiciary Inspection’s Stan on Kovesi’s statements: An attempt to induce idea inspectors didn’t do their duty
Deputy-chief inspector of the Judiciary Inspection (JI) Gheorghe Stan claimed on Monday that chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi allegedly tried, through her statements regarding the control conducted at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), to publicly induce the idea that the judiciary inspectors didn’t do their job, precisely to create the premises for challenging the report.
“I am wondering if is in favour of the judiciary system and its credibility to claim, as leader of a prosecutor’s office unit [prosecutor-in-chief of the DNA, Laura Codruta Kovesi] which was checked, that you had the feeling that [the inspectors] came with certain issues that had to be verified. It’s pretty dangerous, unproductive and also harmful both to the judiciary system and the civil society. (…) Mrs Chief Prosecutor had the same feeling regarding that note on which the judiciary inspector wrote numbers of criminal cases, claiming that, in fact, through this control, other issues outside the control were carried out. I think that these statements were an attempt to publicly induce the idea that judiciary inspectors did not carry out their official duties in an objective and impartial manner. We definitely reject such insinuations. Probably these demarches incorporate the declared intention from the beginning, namely to create the premises of challenging the report by claiming some non-existent procedural flaws,” Stan told the Prosecutors’ Section of the Supreme Court of Magistrates (CSM).
Gheorghe Stan added that such paradigms and the accusation that the inspection allegedly had also other objectives related to the DNA control, come from the head of a prosecution office that should investigate before issuing final verdicts.
Gheorghe Stan wished to mention that, in general, on the occasion of the control, judiciary inspectors are taking notes from the criminal files they check, related to the rhythmicity of the criminal prosecution, from the registers or from the books in which file numbers are written, too.
“It’s an original thing to challenge the findings of the facts noted in the report by the colleagues”
Deputy Chief-Inspector of the Judiciary Inspection Gheorghe Stan labeled as “original” the behavior of some of the members of the team conducting the control at DNA who challenged several findings made by their colleagues in the final report.
“The original thing in this report is a separate opinion drafted by Inspectors Radescu, Prisecariu and Focica, and what do these inspectors do? They say they disagree the findings of their colleagues in the report. More precisely, they challenge the findings made by their colleagues. I haven’t personally met this procedure in 19 years of magistracy and in seven years as an inspector – to challenge the findings of the facts noted by your colleagues in a control report” Gheorghe Stan stated at the meeting of the Prosecutors’ Section of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM).
He says that the control report didn’t observe the structure established by the order of the Chief-Inspector of the Judiciary Inspection, too.
“The report didn’t observe the structure from the order of the Chief-Inspector, because after closing the control activity itself, Mrs. Inspector Radescu, in her capacity of a coordinator, sent a written letter to her colleagues who are also inspectors, requesting that their part of the report should be drafted according to a new structure, personally established by her, without consulting the other members of the team and contradicting the provisions of the order issued by the Chief-Inspector”, Gheorghe Stan mentioned.
On October 12, the coordinator of the team conducting the control at the National Anticorruption Directorate, Elena Radescu, presented for around three hours her point of view related the report drafted after the conducted control.
The conclusions of the report have been fully assumed by the judiciary inspectors Mihaela Hitruc, Monica Plesea and Sanda Mates, while the coordinator of the control team Elena Radescu, Cornelia Prisacariu and Mihaela Focica made a separate opinion.
The three inspectors said in the separate opinion that they disagree with considering that the DNA head refused to present the requested documents, since it wasn’t an express refuse. Moreover, they appreciated that the issues mentioned by the report refer to the manner of conducting the control, instead of being related to the DNA activity.
“The data conformity cannot be examined only by checking the files on the basis of sheets and reports”
Gheorghe Stan stated on Monday, referring to the checks made at DNA, that the control activity cannot be appropriately conducted only on the basis of vague data presented by prosecutors, without having direct access to the information.
“This is a substantive control at a prosecution unit that hasn’t been checked for more than 10 years. We didn’t wish to perform an analysis of the files in terms of the factual circumstances investigated in the case, but to make an effective check of the manner of observing the procedural and regulatory rules by prosecutors, as we did in all our control missions conducted until this moment. The conformity of the data presented by prosecutors cannot be examined in relation to the reality of those actually carried out in the checked files, by verifying the files only on the basis of the lists, sheets or reports presented by the checked prosecutors” Gheorghe Stan also stated at the meeting of the Prosecutors’ Section of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM).
Speaking about hearing prosecutors who were no longer operating within DNA structure at the time of the control, the Deputy Chief-Inspector explained that the coordinator of the control team Elena Radescu initially agreed with this, but she changed her opinion later.
“In the end it was decided, by majority vote, that if clues on the communication problems will appear during the conducted checks, the control team will decide if points of view will be requested from them. It was also decided that, for good reasons, the inspectors within the team can perform any other checks, together with the members of the other teams. This was the context in which, on August 23 and 24, 2017, discussions have been conducted with the prosecutors that operated in the DNA central structure in the verified span, and who no longer activate in this unit at the time of the checks” Stan mentioned.
In his opinion, all the decisions regarding the control activity should have been taken by the team coordinator after consulting his or her colleagues.
“In conclusion, considering the issues made known to me on the existing divergences between the members of the control team, observing my attributions, I presented my opinion at the discussions, namely that according to the rules regulating the inspection activity, the strategy on conducting checks should be decided by the team coordinator after consulting the judiciary inspectors who are members of the team, not by the team coordinator and the Chief-Prosecutor of the department” Gheorghe Stan added.
Accusations against the coordinator of the Judiciary Inspection team: She went to DNA before the control
Deputy Chief-Inspector of the Judiciary Inspection Gheorghe Stan also mentioned on Monday that the coordinator of the control team Elena Radescu previously went to the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate, without consulting the members of the team and without informing the leadership of the IJ, which is against the regulation.
“On July 3, after the Order no.71 was issued, Mrs. Radescu went to the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate without consulting the members of the control team and without informing the leadership of the Judiciary Inspection. The minutes drafted by her after this visit mentions that discussions on the conditions in which the control will be conducted and the established objectives have been held with the Chief-Prosecutor and with her Deputy, Mr. Marius Iacob. The regulation regarding the rules for conducting the judiciary inspection works doesn’t provide the organization of such meeting” Gheorghe Stan stated at the CSM Department for Prosecutors.
He explained that the legal provisions require the team of judiciary inspectors to provide necessary data and information, depending on the objectives of the control of the leadership of the Prosecution Office where the checks are to be made, through a letter approved by the head of the Judiciary Inspection Department for Prosecutors.
On 13 October, Laura Codruta Kovesi told the same section that there is no unitary control report drawn up following the control of the Judiciary Inspection into DNA, and the conclusions are not unitary or harmonised.
Moreover, asked whether, during the Judicial Inspection’s control, she had the feeling that it lacked objectivity having, besides the stated purpose, also a “hidden” purpose, the DNA chief said, “Yes, I had a feeling that they came with [preconceived] issues that had to be verified or denied; they came with some rumours about which they had read in the media and which had to be confirmed in one way or another, and yes, they came up with a certain issue for identifying some files, some solutions or certain documents in the files.”
DNA’s Kovesi attends meeting of the Section for Prosecutors of the CSM: There is no single control report drawn up by the Judicial Inspection, there are no uniform, harmonized conclusions. JusMin Toader: I as minister did not set up control theme, procedure