The Judicial Inspection (JI) has taken note of the statements made by prosecutor Mihaiela Moraru Iorga (photo) and former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma, and will establish whether there are clues pointing to the committal of a disciplinary offence.
“The leadership of the Judicial Inspection has analysed the information that has appeared in the public space on the evening of 11 February 2018 and has decided to take note ex officio. Judicial inspectors will carry out preliminary verifications to establish whether there are any clues pointing to the committal of a disciplinary offence,” JI Spokesperson Alin Alexandru stated, being quoted by Agerpres.
In addition, head of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), Simona Marcu will request the Judicial Inspection to conduct checks regarding the statements of prosecutor Mihaiela Moraru Iorga and former MP Vlad Cosma.
“Following information released in the public sphere on 11 February, through private TV broadcasters Antena 3, on ‘Sinteza zilei’ show and Romania TV, on ‘Editia de seara’ Judge Simona Camelia Marcu, head of the Superior Council of Magistracy will request the Judicial Inspection to perform verifications by virtue of the provisions of Law no. 317/2004 regarding the Superior Council of Magistracy,” a press release of CSM sent to AGERPRES on Monday specifies.
Mihaiela Iorga: Kovesi asked me whether we can expedite an ex-minister’s dossier
On Sunday evening, in a talk-show on Antena3, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutor Mihaiela Moraru Iorga claimed that the head of the DNA called her in and asked her whether she can expedite the case of a former minister whose name was circulated for the position of Premier.
“Romania’s Premier had to be appointed at some point. The name of a certain minister was circulated. I had a case in the works concerning this former minister. I am not giving away any names because I do not want anyone to say I ruined any investigation. I was called in and asked if we could come out as soon as possible with that case. The explanation was of the type that if he becomes Premier, Ms. Dana Girbovan (President of the National Union of Romanian Judges – UNJR) will become Justice Minister which would mean a disaster for us,” Mihaiela Moraru Iorga said.
Iorga recounted that she explained to the DNA Chief Prosecutor that there is insufficient evidence and continuing the probe would have entailed lodging a request with Parliament.
In a talk-show on Sunday, Mihaiela Iorga also said that Elena Radescu – the inspector who headed the audit team that verified the DNA’s management – threatened her, telling her that she has a child to rear and she should not force “love with the DNA.”
She claimed that the inspector tried to suggest that the DNA Chief Prosecutor is only an executant.
“I have no hesitation because it was actually shocking. I was heard by her. What happened at this hearing didn’t interest her. She asked me why I want love by force with the DNA. I explained to her that I asked for the dismissal order to protect myself. I received several threats not to fight the system or the Chief Prosecutor. She tried to suggest that the Chief Prosecutor is innocent in all these events, that someone else dictates these actions. That’s what she suggested. It’s a personal war and it’s visible. Unfortunately, it’s the reason I didn’t want to speak out, but I’ve seen that she has no qualms,” Mihaiela Iorga said.
“There was another issue with Mrs Radescu. She told me to be careful with what I do because I have a child to rear. Right in her office. I perceived it as a direct threat. I didn’t fight back. I wanted to tell her that I have two children, not one, and that she’s misinformed,” Iorga added.
Prosecutor Mihaiela Iorga stated in a talk-show on Antena3, on Sunday evening, that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi was always up-to-date with the evolution of the investigation in the Microsoft dossier, Kovesi even announcing her at one point, via text message, that businessman Dumitru Niro was about to give some statements in this dossier, a dossier that Iorga was handling. Referring to this dossier, Mihaiela Iorga stated that Laura Codruta Kovesi disinformed and that in the DNA communique, the only one of its type, the alleged guilty acts are not under prescription.
According to Iorga, Kovesi’s text message, dated 20 September 2014, informed her that: “Niro says he’ll come tomorrow evening at 7 o’clock with his lawyer. Let’s see what he says.”
Mihaiela Iorga also claimed that Kovesi introduced her to former tennis player Dinu Pescariu too. Asked whether Kovesi lied in the Microsoft dossier, Mihaela Iorga said “let’s not call it a lie, let’s call it disinformation, it’s more elegant.”
“First of all, I’d like to start from the communique. In the DNA communique, the only one of this kind, the alleged guilty acts are not under prescription. It’s unfair and incorrect to hide your inability to prove a crime, to prove it, behind a so-called prescription,” the former DNA prosecutor claimed.
Prosecutor Mihaiela Iorga: Alro Slatina privatisation dossier was closed
The dossier concerning the privatisation of Alro Slatina was closed by DNA prosecutors, prosecutor Mihaiela Iorga claims, pointing out that when she left the institution she asked for an expert’s report in this dossier, the case being closed once she was dismissed.
“At the moment of my departure, an expert’s report was needed. I couldn’t tell you what the prosecutor handling the case had in mind, one couldn’t talk about prescription. I asked for an expert’s report in this dossier. There was a suspicion that the investments in the two companies were made with money from Alro. I don’t understand why the dossier was closed, it was closed after I was dismissed. In my view, it shouldn’t have been closed, it was difficult to find the experts, nobody wanted to undertake such an expert’s report. I cannot say whether the result would have been an indictment, but in my view the expert’s report should have been done,” Mihaiela Iorga stated.
On 15 December 2006, DNA prosecutors started a criminal probe in a dossier concerning the legality of the privatisation of the Alro Slatina aluminium plant.
Kovesi: There was no discussion with any DNA prosecutor or with defendant Mihaiela Moraru Iorga about a dossier concerning some minister who might have become Premier
Chief-Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate Laura Codruta Kovesi specified on Monday that there was no discussion with any DNA prosecutor or with Mihaiela Moraru Iorga about a case regarding a minister who might have become premier.
“There was no discussion with any DNA prosecutor or with defendant Mihaiela Moraru Iorga about a case regarding some minister who might have become Premier. I never pressured or interfered in the activity of any prosecutor. I do not comment on the unreal allegations of defendants,” Kovesi specified in a reply for AGERPRES.
Regarding Iorga’s claims according to which Kovesi permanently interfered in the investigation in the Microsoft Case and she allegedly demanded indictments without consistent evidence, Kovesi said: “I never pressured or interfered in the activity of any prosecutor.”
Asked whether she pressured Mihaiela Iorga to order some preventive measures, Laura Codruta Kovesi gave a brief answer: “I do not comment on the unreal allegations of defendants.”
Vlad Cosma files criminal complaint against prosecutors Onea and Negulescu
Former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma has lodged with the Prosecutor General’s Office a criminal complaint against four DNA Ploiesti prosecutors, including Lucian Onea and Mircea Negulescu, whom he accuses of compromising the interests of justice, abusive probe, unjust repressions, abuse of office and the setting up of a crime ring.
According to officials from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the complaint was lodged last Friday and concerns prosecutors Lucian Onea, Giluela Diaconu, Alfred Savu and Mircea Negulescu (recently excluded from the magistracy).
As a result of this complaint, a dossier has been registered on the docks of the Criminal Prosecution Section of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Dancila on accusations levelled against DNA: It’s concerning; We mustn’t see the whole judiciary as doing nasty things or not judging fairly
On Monday, Premier Viorica Dancila stated she is yet to talk with the Justice Minister about the accusations levelled against the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), but that she will have such a talk because “things are concerning.” Dancila stated she is not in a “comfortable” situation considering that in the voice recordings made public there was talk of fabricating evidence even against a Premier.
“It’s concerning for every Romanian, and seeing that in the talks last evening the demand made was for the fabrication of evidence even for [sic] the Prime Minister, in my capacity as Prime Minister I’m not in a comfortable situation, but also for a Romanian who must see justice in the judiciary. We mustn’t see the whole judiciary as doing nasty things or not judging things fairly,” Viorica Dancila stated on her arrival at the PSD headquarters.
She pointed out she did not have talks with the Justice Minister, the latter not being in the country, but said such a discussion will take place.
“I can’t tell you what measures I expect to see. We must have a discussion on this topic, I can’t anticipate,” Dancila added.
Social Democrat head Dragnea: Increasingly more evidence emerges about deep state’s existence
House Speaker and head of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that after the disclosures aired on the previous evening about the activity of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and its Ploiesti territorial branch, “increasingly more evidence emerges about the existence of the deep state,” and that if this information is proven true, these are “elements of political police”.
“I think what is most important is that the Judicial Inspection has taken action ex-officio, but I think this is not enough, and that an inquest must be promptly initiated to determine whether the disclosures made last evening are true – and they seem to be – and immediate measures must be taken for such practices to never happen again in Romania. If what was publicly aired last night, if previous information broadcast in the past years proves to be true, there are clear elements of political police in Romania and (…) I don’t think this is only about disciplinary offences. If what emerged last night in prosecutor Iorga’s interview and the disclosures, recordings, after-statements are true, these are extremely serious criminal elements,” Dragnea said at the PSD headquarters.
He mentioned that he does not know magistrate Mihaiela Iorga Moraru, but that he gives her certain credit.
“She spoke of threats coming from a certain lady from the Judicial Inspection who told her: don’t stand up to the system. We have also adopted a resolution about the deep state. Increasingly more evidence emerges to support our and the media’s accounts about this system, this deep state, this mafia that attempts – sometimes successfully – to illegally take hold of power in Romania,” said the Social Democrat leader.
Speaking about the alleged request by DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi for proceedings in a criminal case to be sped up or that a case be opened against a certain politician, Dragnea said this is “an illegal and extremely serious interference.”
Asked who is the Premier against whom a dossier should have been fabricated, Dragnea said he has a hunch, but it is not Mihai Tudose.
Dragnea on Kovesi: She should stay at the DNA as much as she wants, each of us goes when the time comes
House Speaker and PSD President Liviu Dragnea claims he does not want to see Laura Codruta Kovesi leaving the helm of the DNA.
“I don’t want anyone gone, each of us should leave when the time comes and this or that person leaving is not the issue here. The issue is far more serious, I’m not falling for these discussions. This is not about who holds a certain office, it’s about an ugly, dangerous, undemocratic practice of political police that is occurring in Romania. This idea that I want Kovesi gone… let Mrs Kovesi stay at the DNA as long as she wants!” Dragnea stated when asked about the transcripts that the DNA made public in the Vlad Cosma case, transcripts that show that the PSD President would have liked to see Laura Codruta Kovesi replaced at the helm of the DNA.
Asked for his comments on the accusations that ex-Premier Victor Ponta levelled against him in what concerns his relationship with Kovesi, Dragnea pointed out he does not want to enter a polemic with Ponta.
“I don’t want to enter a discussion with Mr Victor Ponta, because the topic is different, but what I want to say – because these issues concerning the appointment of Mrs Kovesi won’t remain unclarified, because I see very many… After all nobody appointed her, I mean she just simply appeared, but we have time to talk about this. It’s not the first time that I hear about people who were summoned at the DNA in various dossiers. It’s not the first time I’m being told that some people were outright asked to say something about me, people I had never talked with, from all over the country, but it’s not the first time when someone undertakes to publicly say this. But we will discuss these topics in a more in-depth manner in the following period,” the PSD leader pointed out.
Asked whether he will talk with the Justice Minister or if the latter will be summoned before Parliament to offer explanations following the recordings made public on Sunday evening, Dragnea said: “I believe the first thing the Justice Minister must do is return to the country, because he cannot take any measure in Japan. I hope we’ll talk with him when he comes back.”
Codrin Stefanescu: Tudorel, do something because it’s no longer bearable!
PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated on Monday that, as a result of the revelations regarding the DNA, he would have already expected measures and reactions and, since they are yet to come, he called on the Justice Minister: “Tudorel, do something because it’s no longer bearable!”
“Concrete measures must be taken. I mean I was expecting a reaction from the Prosecutor General this morning; it hasn’t come. I was expecting the Justice Minister’s Audit Body already doing something in this sense… So, I’m calling on Mr Tudorel Toader, in a very clear way: Tudorel, do something because it’s not longer bearable! So, things have reached fever-pitch, I mean there is no other place on this planet where such bizarre and unnatural things are taking place. Last evening, I too, like maybe millions of other Romanians, watched these revelations and I was more than shocked… it’s the clear demonstration that things are completely rotten here, in our country, and something must be done now, we’re in the last second, it’s one second to midnight,” Codrin Stefanescu stated.
Asked against whom should Tudorel Toader take the measures, he said: “I have no idea, I don’t know exactly whether these people must be dismissed, whether some criminal probes must be started, whether they must be dismissed today, but something must be urgently done because things have completely gone haywire in Romania and as a member of a party that was voted especially in order to make justice in Romania, I raise the alarm: such revelations are appearing every day, every day we are being told from within the system what evil and toxic things can be done, what horrible things can take place and, at the same time, I see that the people who were appointed in office to take these measures are not taking them.”
Asked to point out whether he refers to the Justice Minister whom PSD and ALDE endorse, he said he already launched a call on Tudorel Toader, in his personal capacity.
Serban Nicolae: DNA must be rebuilt from the ground up
PSD Senator Serban Nicolae pointed out on Monday that the DNA must be rebuilt from the ground up, the institution’s credibility having plummeted and the anticorruption fight being selective. At the same time, he deemed that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi can no longer remain at its helm.
“We found out that the anticorruption fight is selective. If you caught a corrupt person you didn’t censure him/her, you tried to force him/her to give you a more interesting or more important corrupt person. People, careers, families have been destroyed. Had it been an anticorruption fight, then all the corrupt persons discovered would have been censured. We’ve reached a very grave moment in which the DNA should be rebuilt from the ground up,” Serban Nicolae said.
He pointed out that the DNA is “profoundly corrupt” at this moment and “profoundly affected by a very grave, internal ailment,” considering that the institution’s credibility has plummeted.
Asked whether Laura Codruta Kovesi should resign, Serban Nicolae answered: “In my opinion she can no longer remain at the helm of this institution.”
“It would have been best for these things not to happen. If they did, it would have been best for them to be revealed back then. Usually, the confessions of the defeated don’t impress me much. They help me try to prevent such a procedure, such mechanisms of a meanness that is difficult to imagine, [from taking place] in the future,” Nicolae added.
Tariceanu asks Parliament to get involved following prosecutor Moraru’s accusations regarding Codruta Kovesi’s interference in dossiers
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Monday that Parliament cannot remain indifferent to the revelations made by prosecutor Moraru, adding that a discussion should take place within the ruling coalition, with the Opposition parties and with Justice Minister Tudorel Toader.
Asked what Parliament should do following the revelations made by prosecutor Mihaiela Iorga, Tariceanu said: “Of course, Parliament cannot remain indifferent. We will have to discuss. I believe this is not an issue to discuss solely within the coalition, it’s an issue calling for a far more serious discussion in which the Opposition parties have the same responsibility and concern that we, the members of the ruling majority, have. I expect an objective, serious discussion about these topics, without trying to downplay them because some have an interest in being protected, because they have various lawsuits on the dockets, and I’m making a direct reference to Mr Orban, who has become a kind of servant of the deep state, along with the party, carrying out all the dirty orders they issue.”
Tariceanu claims that the Romanian President should not be indifferent either. “It remains for him to decide. I’m not a political adviser to tell him what he must do,” Tariceanu said when asked if he stakes on Iohannis’s help in the case concerning the revelations made by prosecutor Moraru.
The Senate Speaker pointed out that it is too early to say whether a discussion within the special committees is called for, but it would not be abnormal.
“A discussion with the Justice Minister will also be needed, in my view, because, according to the Constitution, prosecutors function under the authority of the Justice Minister. What we are seeing today are extremely grave things that have no place in any democratic society, and [for] those of us who are trying to prove that the rule of law functions in Romania these are the most obvious clues that we don’t have a rule of law, and we have a mere mockery of a rule of law, and unless we take measures then it’s natural for a very grave thing to occur, for the citizens’ confidence in the judiciary to be completely shaken,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu added.
“Romania is led with criminal dossiers”
The Senate Speaker added that the revelations made by prosecutor Mihaela Iorga Moraru have shown that Romania “is led with criminal dossiers,” stating that blocking a candidate for the office of Prime Minister is eloquent proof that the deep state exists.
“Somebody asked me today whether I was surprised by yesterday’s statements, especially those made by prosecutor Moraru, and I want to tell you something: I wasn’t surprised. Maybe you’ll be surprised. Last evening, I only had the feeling that what I’ve been saying for a very long time is coming to the surface, namely that Romania is led with criminal dossiers. So, the Prosecutor’s Offices are a political instrument for the elimination of the targeted persons, some probably inconvenient, and the attempt prosecutor Moraru made mention of last evening, without naming names, I can’t figure out whom she was talking about, so blocking a minister or a candidate for the office of Prime Minister who should have named someone as Justice Minister, namely the UNJR President, is the most eloquent proof that the deep state is functioning and the attempt is being made to hijack the vote of the citizens and the democratic and legitimate decisions, via decisions taken in spheres of power… I don’t know whether Ms Kovesi was part of the spheres of power and decision or whether she was only an instrument,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Monday after the meeting of the Senate’s Standing Bureau.
The Senate Speaker pointed out that this is pointing to a failed coup attempt.
“It’s just as grave in both cases. This issue rather leads to what could be called a failed coup d’état attempt, I mean that’s what it is, removing the constitutional order and bringing persons to power through force and by ignoring the democratic institutions, elected by citizens. I find it very grave,” Tariceanu emphasised.
Barna: I have the feeling we’re in a film like ‘La Piovra.’ I have great confidence that CSM and JI will manage to clarify matters
Save Romania Union (USR) President Dan Barna stated on Monday, following the accusations that Vlad Cosma levelled against the DNA, that he is waiting for the answers of the Judicial Inspection and the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM), emphasising that he trusts the two institutions. Barna stated that the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) should verify the veracity of the statements that some people make on TV.
“I have the feeling we’re in a film like ‘La Piovra,’ in which persons who are indicted or who fled the country, such as Sebastian Ghita, are making statements difficult to prove. I don’t even know whether to believe them or not. I have great confidence the CSM and the Judicial Inspection will manage to clarify whether what we saw last evening was a very well-organised and – from what I understand – promised PR coup in this battle between the DNA and the people in Ploiesti,” Dan Barna said.
Asked who should leave if the accusations turn out to be true, Dan Barna avoided giving an answer, stating that he is waiting “with interest” for things to be clarified by those in the position to do so.
“I’m waiting with legitimate interest and a parliamentarian’s interest to see the answers the Judicial Inspection and the CSM – those truly empowered to clarify this situation – will give,” Barna stated.
Likewise, he said the CNA should verify the veracity of the statements made on TV, because “the entire public agenda moves in that direction without there being a minimal analysis.”
“It looks to me we have a problem with the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). The fact that anyone, convicted, not convicted, comes out on TV and makes various statements… the entire public agenda moves in that direction without there being a minimal analysis of their accuracy or veracity,” USR’s leader stated.
Barna claimed that the idea of setting up a special parliamentary committee is not one with which he is “comfortable.” “I’m not very comfortable with the idea that Parliament should become both the garden and the orchard of Romania. Parliament has very clear responsibilities, the fact that we are trying to govern – or PSD is trying to govern – via special committees can lead to no result, but solely to keeping this poison on the public agenda,” he concluded.
JusMin Toader: I will not notify Judiciary Inspectorate; I have DNA activity report ready
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader says he will not notify the Judiciary Inspectorate (IJ) about allegations concerning the activity of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), pointing out that he already has a report on this institution that he can present at any time.
“I will not notify the Judiciary Inspectorate. I believe that at this time notifying the IJ is no longer required because, if you might have noticed, we would extend that for a long time, because we would have to wait for the outcome, for the results of the IJ inspection … (…) Consequently, I will not notify the IJ (…) the report on the activity of DNA is prepared and I can present it at any time; then, there is the other option, as I was saying, to present a summary of the activity reports on the Public Prosecution, [the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism] DIICOT to the plenary session of Parliament. I will return to the country and see what is the most recommended and complete option on the one hand and fast on the other hand. (…) It does not make sense to wait for IJ to tell us what? To confirm for the umpteenth time what we actually know, and on the other hand to extend the deadline for solving the issue we are discussing,” Toader told Antena 3 private broadcaster on Monday.
He said there was no pressure on him on this subject, showing that many things have come to light.
“You can rest assured that there are not pressures on me in this sense. (…) If things are the way they are, it is very good for people, the Romanians, to know the real way criminal investigation is sometimes conducted, as the Romanians can see whether or not what the Constitution says is being followed related to the presumption of innocence,” said Toader.
Asked if his report proposes the measure of dismissing Laura Codruta Kovesi from the office of the DNA chief prosecutor, he said his report would put forth a measure.
“Even if some time has passed, even if some have said that I should have taken a quicker stand, I appreciate the contribution of all those in the media and the private sector, whether they are witnesses, former defendants, or Romanians, because they have all contributed to brining the things to the light (…) My report will surely set forth a measure,” said Toader.
PM Dancila says she is to ask JusMin Toader to get back quickly to country
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Monday that she will ask Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to get back quickly to the country, in order to clarify the recent pieces of information that surfaced in the public space regarding the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
“What I can confirm you is that I will have a discussion as soon as I get back to the Government and I will ask the Justice Minister to return to Romania as soon as possible. Yes, I will ask him to return to Romania as soon as possible. I don’t know what are the options for his departure, I do not know what time his plane leaves, but I will request him to get back to Romania as soon as possible. Taking into account the latest pieces of information in the public space, I find it normal that the Justice Minister come back to the country sooner,” the Prime Minister stated at the Social Democratic Party (PSD) headquarters.
Viorica Dancila added that she hasn’t yet had a discussion on this topic with President Klaus Iohannis.
“But, if the President wants a talk, then certainly I will agree,” she stated.
The Prime Minister believes that a political discussion on the PSD level regarding the justice topic is not necessary, as Deputy Prime Minister Paul Stanescu had previously claimed, but a judicial one.
“No. I believe that this decision or a decision should be made from a judicial standpoint and precisely that is why I don’t think that a political party should have a saying on this matter, thus, we call the Justice Minister who is entitled to see what the situation is. I await the Justice Minister’s return to the country and, from my point of view, we need to do everything possible to clarify the pieces of information that recently surfaced in the public space,” said Dancila.
Former PSD MP Vlad Cosma claims that DNA Ploiesti leadership asked him to invent evidence for a case related to Sebastian Ghita and Victor Ponta. DNA rejects the accusation and reveals the transcript of some recordings containing attempts to compromise prosecutors. Head of DNA Ploiesti: I never falsified evidence. It’s Vlad Cosma’s spin, he hopes to get away. Just today I asked the JI to carry out verifications, we won’t give in to pressures