JUSTICE POLITICS

Inquiry cttee to notify Justice Ministry about DNA Chief Prosecutor’s refusal to take part in hearings

The parliamentary committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009 decided on Wednesday to notify the Justice Ministry after DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi refused, for the fourth time, to take part in hearings.

The proposal to notify the Justice Ministry came from PSD’s Lower House member Liviu Plesoianu, who accused Laura Codruta Kovesi of not respecting Constitutional Court (CCR) decisions.

“As Justice Minister, he must have a public stance, he must take a decision in what concerns Ms Kovesi, because otherwise it means we might as well close down the Constitutional Court too, it means we might as well give up the Constitution too, and, in general, we might as well go home and allow certain persons to do what they want in this country, obviously above the law, even though the Constitution says that nobody is above the law,” Plesoianu said.

Committee Chairwoman and Lower House member Oana Florea (PSD) warned Liviu Plesoianu that CCR’s jurisprudence does not allow inquiry committees to propose sanctions against those who refuse to take part in hearings.

“I believe when we are talking about persons who hold public office, who are paid from public funds, it’s normal for them to collaborate with the institution of Parliament. I believe we are talking about a principle, I believe we are talking about respect for Parliament, for the authority of Parliament, and I confess I studied the laws based on which inquiry committees function in other countries and people cannot conceive how and why someone would not show up and would not collaborate with Parliament,” Florea added.

In his turn, Lower House member Stelian Ion (USR) asked that notifying the Justice Ministry in Laura Codruta Kovesi’s case be rejected.

“Laura Codruta Kovesi the institution, because we understand she is an institution since the Constitutional Court ruled in personal terms, cannot be brought by force, regardless of whether we like it or not. Various answers that we can consider have been lodged, the collaboration can take place in writing too. The difference between physically bringing a person before this committee and receiving a written point of view consists only of PR. Even if she were to come, she could only declare what she wants and what she considers she must declare. You should lodge no notification because I find such a notification completely inappropriate,” USR’s Lower House member said.

Liviu Plesoianu’s proposal was nevertheless adopted with a majority of votes, with the Justice Minister set to be informed that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi refused to take part in the hearings.

DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi refused on Thursday, for the fourth time, to go before the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009, where she was summoned for Wednesday morning, reiterating that she does not hold information or documents needed to clarify the circumstances and the causes of the events subjected to parliamentary inquiry.

“I inform you that I do not hold ‘information and/or documents needed to clarify the circumstances and causes of the events subjected to parliamentary inquiry,’” Laura Codruta Kovesi informed on Tuesday the members of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009.

“I don’t have preconceived ideas, we continue to do our duty. It’s her decision whether to show up or not. (…) Unfortunately, Romania has included in the Constitution, based on the model of other states, the possibility of having special committees of inquiry, but it did not fully understand the importance of this committee [sic] and their weight,” Committee Chairwoman Oana Florea stated when asked what will happen if the DNA Chief Prosecutor does not go before the committee.

 

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