Asked whether the DNA is efficient, Toader said: Partly yes, partly no
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Thursday evening, on TVR1, that this month he will present in Parliament a full report based on Public Ministry data on the activity of its three structures: the Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). Asked about the efficiency of the DNA, he said that the institution is partially efficient, and partially not, in this sense referring to acquittals, criminal probes left without a result after many years, and convictions ruled by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“Thus, I’m fulfilling the obligation stemming from law no.304 (on the judicial system’s organisation – editor’s note), which says that in February each year I must receive a report from the Public Ministry, go before Parliament and present it to parliamentarians and Romanians,” Toader pointed out, adding that the report concerns the three components of the Public Ministry – the DNA, DIICOT and regional branches – and the activities carried out by Romania’s 2,650 prosecutors.
He also invoked Article 79 of law no.304, which stipulates: “The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice drafts an annual report on the activity carried out, which it presents to the Supreme Magistracy Council and the Justice Ministry no later than February the following year. The Justice Minister will present before Parliament the conclusions of the said report drafted by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice.”
The minister avoided answering questions concerning DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi and the decision on whether to maintain her in office.
However, asked about the DNA, he said it is a specialised structure of the Public Ministry. Regarding the institution’s efficiency, Tudorel Toader said: “Partly yes, partly no.”
Asked to mention the negative parts, Toader explained: “Where you see acquittals, where you see that the criminal probe starts against someone and then nothing is being done for one, two, seven years, the part in which you see convictions and we are obligated at the ECHR, and we are paying from here.”
“The good parts do not justify the bad parts,” the minister concluded.
Tariceanu: Tudorel Toader didn’t inform me about report on DNA’s activity
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Saturday in Sinaia, at the winter school of ALDE Youth, that he did not talk with Justice Minister Tudorel Toader about the report on the activity of the DNA that he will present before Parliament or about the decision that concerns DNA Chief Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Asked whether Tudorel Toader informed him about the report on the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the decision he took on whether to dismiss DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, the Senate Speaker answered negatively.
“I haven’t had a discussion with Mr Tudorel Toader, he hasn’t informed me personally. I’ve only seen this statement in the public space. Despite the fact that we discuss, we meet, I’ve only seen this statement in the public space,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated.
The Justice Minister stated on Thursday evening that in February he will present before Parliament a full report based on data from the Public Ministry, Tudorel Toader pointing out that the DNA is only partially efficient, referring to acquittals among other things.
“Decision to dismiss DNA Chief doesn’t belong to Parliament. Microsoft case is not the only failure that shakes the DNA”
Asked whether DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi should be dismissed following the Microsoft case, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated that the decision to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor does not belong to Parliament.
Asked whether Laura Codruta Kovesi should be dismissed following the Microsoft case, the ALDE President said: “I don’t have sufficient data, apart from what I see in the public space. I also don’t have access to the Judicial Inspection’s report, I’m not a minister to carry out a thorough analysis, and I can’t say. The decision does not belong in any way to Parliament. You should know that the Microsoft case is not the only failure that is basically shaking the DNA. What happened there, I find it very grave because there are a series of persons there, persons who are not known by me alone, who were – I believe – unjustly accused, some of them. The conclusions are clear, no incriminating evidence was found and the dossier dragged on for long, and those people suffered – at least on a personal, professional and political plane –, but this isn’t the only grave situation within the DNA.”
Tariceanu also talked about other dossiers that are a stain on the DNA.
He stated that the very high number of dossiers sent back “throws serious doubt” on the DNA. Tariceanu said he does not deny the fact that there is corruption in Romania, but “there is no need to inflate the balloon so much.”
“All these abuses, as well as the very high number of dossiers sent back to the magistracy, throw serious doubt on the activity of this institution. Even the DNA Chief was saying several days ago that most dossiers are for abuse of office, a crime that is not a corruption crime but is assimilated to corruption. Hence the inflated balance sheet. I’m not saying there’s no corruption in Romania, but I don’t know whether there is the need to inflate the balloon so much. I believe the minister will have a consistent analysis to present and I’m waiting to see the report and the conclusions,” he added, referring to the report that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader will present in Parliament.
“There are prosecutors who take the liberty to carry out investigations like the one in Prahova, a series of sexual abuses like the one in Oravita, there are some who committed abuses against judges and were suspended. (…) All these abuses, as well as the very high number of dossiers sent back to the magistracy throw serious doubt on the way this institution functions. Even the DNA Chief was saying three days ago that more than half of the DNA dossiers are for abuse of office, a crime that is not a corruption crime, but is assimilated to corruption,” the Senate Speaker added.
He also said he is waiting for Justice Minister Tudorel Toader’s report and conclusions on the activity of the DNA.
“I believe the minister will have a consistent analysis to present and I’m waiting for the analysis and then the conclusions with interest. (…) I haven’t understood he has taken a decision, neither from the press. I understood something else, I’ll talk with him on this topic, because it no longer has to do with Parliament. Minister Tudorel Toader said he made an assessment, which is something else entirely. It definitely has a conclusion too, because a report without a conclusion is of far too little value,” Tariceanu claimed.
The Microsoft dossier, the biggest corruption case in Romania, involving a record number of ex-ministers, has ended after five years, without the officials standing trial. Moreover, they were probed even though the investigation of the crimes had expired under the statute of limitations four years ago. All charges have been dropped against seven ex-ministers.