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May 14, 2021

Justice Minister Toader on Tariceanu’s attack against DNA: It’s about the freedom of speech

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Thursday, when asked to comment about the fact that the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief-Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi complaint about the Senate’s Speaker to CSM, that he appreciates that it’s about the freedom of speech, as he asserted in his case, too.

“Just as we saw when another complaint was submitted to the Judicial Inspection, in relation to a statement that I made. And since I said referring to myself that it’s about the freedom of speech, I will say the same about the complaint related to the Senate’s Speaker” Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Thursday.

DNA Chief Prosecutor complained to CSM about the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu after he stated that the Directorate has become “a pitiful political instrument”. Kovesi says that the seriousness of Tariceanu’s “attacks” is “increasing from one day to another”.

“As it appears from the press release since February 7, 2017, although the Superior Council of Magistracy invited the representatives of the state authorities, the press institutions and the civil society to a balanced and reasonable approach of the public debate, as a sign of assumption of the democratic position and of the balance between powers, in compliance with the principles of separation of powers, of the firm and loyal cooperation between institutions, of the independence of justice and with the actual observance of the limits of the right to a free speech, the Senate’s Speaker continues the same kind of public message and makes extremely serious statements related to the National Anticorruption Directorate, which is a part of the Romanian judiciary” reads a press release issued by DNA.

Codruta Kovesi notified the Council after Calin Popescu Tariceanu said on Wednesday that DNA has become “a pitiful political instrument”.

“All that DNA does in the last period is clear as the light of the day that is selective justice. DNA has become a pitiful political instrument. More and more Romanians can see this, it’s a serious matter, because it leads to the lack of trust in a fundamental institution – justice. It is also very bad for the image we reflect abroad” stated the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, answering to a question related to his reaction after Liviu Dragnea went to DNA for the second time regarding the Tel Drum case.

“The seriousness of Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s attacks is increasing day by day, and despite the fact that the Superior Council of Magistracy has ruled by its decision on other serious statements of the Senate’s Speaker, these attacks continue in Media. The above mentioned statements are extremely serious, being likely to represent a serious damage potential for an institution with a constitutional status, whose attributions refer to the investigation of the high-level corruption deeds, being the only authority invested by the law to investigate corruption deeds committed, among others, by senators, deputies, Romanian members of the European Parliament, members of the Government, state secretaries or sub-secretaries and the staff assimilated to them, minsters’ councilors” DNA explained.

In the notification, DNA claims that “the slanderous and denigrating statements are made by a person who has a high position of public dignity in the Romanian State and represent valuable judgements likely to undermine the judicial authority and to question the professional deontology of the magistrates, the statements aim at discrediting the National Anticorruption Directorate and the work of the anticorruption prosecutors and the judiciary in general, by making the public opinion believe the idea that the prosecutors’ work is not carried out within the legal limits, the statements have a major impact on the public opinion, being likely to harm the independence of the judiciary”.

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