The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) announced on Tuesday that prosecutors with the Criminal and Forensics Section are conducting investigations in a case that arose following a complaint that was filed after the broadcast of some recordings from the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) in Ploiesti.
“The Criminal and Forensics Section is conducting investigations in a criminal case arising following a criminal complaint which was filed, that aims at aspects which were presented by the mass media. Furthermore, the Judicial Inspection – ex officio and at the request of the President of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) – is carrying out preliminary checks to determine if there are indications of any disciplinary misconduct in respect of the same matter,” a press release of the PICCJ sent to AGERPRES mentions.
According to the same source, the mentions emerged following mass media requests to present an opinion on the news coverage regarding a series of aspects aiming at the activity of some prosecutors with the DNA’s Ploiesti Territorial Service.
“The leadership of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice has full confidence that both the criminal investigation and preliminary controls will be conducted with professionalism and will explain the aspects reported by the mass media,” the release also mentions.
After Premier asks him to cut short his foreign visit, Tudorel Toader to attend Gov’t meeting on Thursday
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader informed MEDIAFAX that he will take part in the Government meeting on Thursday. The Minister is currently in Japan where he is scheduled to hold several meetings. Premier Viorica Dancila asked him to cut short his foreign visit against the backdrop of the latest information regarding the DNA.
After the Premier asked him to cut short his foreign visit, the Justice Minister announced he will take part in the Government meeting on Thursday.
“I will take part in the Government meeting on Thursday,” the Justice Minister told the MEDIAFAX press agency.
The conference in Tokyo is scheduled to end on Friday, February 17.
At the same time, Tudorel Toader told MEDIAFAX that the Justice Ministry has received no invitation from the Presidential Palace, against the backdrop of unconfirmed information that President Klaus Iohannis wanted to meet the minister.
The statements came after Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Monday that she will ask Justice Minister Tudorel Toader – currently on a working visit in Japan – to urgently return to the country against the backdrop of the latest information regarding the DNA.
“I don’t know at what hour is the flight, but I’m asking him to come to Romania as fast as possible,” Viorica Dancila said.
Asked whether she talked with President Klaus Iohannis, Dancila answered negatively, but said she would agree if invited to take part in such a dialogue.
The call for Tudorel Toader to cut short his foreign visit came against the backdrop of the recordings that ex-lawmaker Vlad Cosma made public. On Sunday evening, Antena3 broadcast a recording featuring Vlad Cosma, in which the latter pointed out that prosecutors Mircea Negulescu and Lucian Onea tried to fabricate dossiers based on “falsified evidence” against politicians and businessmen, including Sebastian Ghita. At the same time, the former House lawmaker revealed that DNA Ploiesti prosecutor Lucian Onea allegedly asked him to modify certain documents and evidence that was then used in the dossier. Moreover, they allegedly threatened to arrest Andreea Cosma, Vlad Cosma’s sister.
Vlad Cosma continues to level accusations against DNA Ploiesti prosecutors: I can prove how the Tony Blair dossier was falsified at DNA Ploiesti
On Monday evening, on Antena3, former Social Democratic Party lawmaker Vlad Cosma continued the series of accusations levelled against DNA Ploiesti Chief Lucian Onea and former prosecutor Mircea Negulescu, claiming that he can prove “how the Tony Blair dossier was falsified at DNA Ploiesti,” a dossier in which ex-Premier Victor Ponta is accused of receiving EUR 220,000 in exchange for offering Sebastian Ghita an eligible slot in the 2012 elections.
Vlad Cosma referred to the press conference in which the DNA Ploiesti Chief took part on Monday, stating that prosecutor Onea “was very scared.”
“Mr Onea and other prosecutors know the things I’ve seen and they’re afraid. (…) They don’t know what other recordings are out there. Mr Onea went before judges with an arrest request in which he, with his signature, said those tables and handwritten texts came by mail, and today he comes and says I personally gave them to him. That’s right, Mr Onea, I personally gave them to you after you made me modify the date. Precisely as heard in the recording. (…) Mr Onea outed himself and confirmed my recording. (…) Mr Negulescu and Mr Onea Lucian have become real professionals in falsifying the evidence. Because they cannot go before Romanian judges with evidence that would look flimsy. Mr Negulescu chose a name that would have looked like it belonged to a Republic of Moldova citizen – Serghei Petrus. This Serghei doesn’t exist,” Vlad Cosma, the son of former Prahova County Council Chairman Mircea Cosma, said.
Asked whether he will show up at DNA Ploiesti on Tuesday, to be heard as witness in a dossier, Cosma said he has been summoned at DNA Ploiesti every week for the past three or four weeks.
“I was last there two weeks ago when, probably scared of what they were hearing, that there are some recordings, they wanted to compel me, against my will, to change a statement in the Tony Blair dossier. And I can prove how the Tony Blair dossier was falsified within the elite unit. They were afraid, they summoned me and they wanted to fix some mistakes. I refused to do so, I told them I no longer consent claiming what they asked me to and they’ve been summoning me every week since then. I’ll show up every time, I’m not afraid,” Cosma said.
The former PSD lawmaker also claimed that he is making these “revelations” to warn that “there are very many dossiers sent in court by these prosecutors and none of them resulted in a final conviction.” “And it’s time for country’s President, the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, the Prosecutor General, the Judicial Inspection to verify, because very many dossiers are in court with evidence falsified from top to bottom, and there is the risk – like it happened during communism – we’ll find out that innocent people were convicted,” Cosma added.
On Sunday evening, Antena3 broadcast a recording featuring former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma. In it, the latter claimed that DNA Ploiesti prosecutors Mircea Negulescu and Lucian Onea allegedly attempted to open dossiers based on “fabricated evidence” against politicians and businessmen, including against Sebastian Ghita. Vlad Cosma also claimed that DNA Ploiesti Chief Lucian Onea allegedly asked him to modify documents and evidence that were then allegedly used in the dossier.
On Monday, DNA Ploiesti Chief Lucian Onea took part in a press conference to respond to the fabrication of evidence accusations that the former House lawmaker levelled against him. Onea said that DNA Ploiesti never fabricated evidence and always observed the law. The prosecutor also stated that DNA Ploiesti prosecutors were warned by members of Vlad Cosma’s entourage that an attack was being prepared, but added they will not give in to pressure even if the pressure is increasingly aggressive. The head of DNA Ploiesti pointed out that he asked the Judicial Inspection, that very same day, to carry out verifications, the prosecutors’ reputation being at stake.
Sebastian Ghita claims denouncer does not exist in his dossier: That citizen, Serghei Petrus, does not exist. It’s a forgery. The ones from the Prosecutor General’s Office have no way out of this!
Former House lawmaker Sebastian Ghita (PSD), who is currently in Serbia, stated on Sunday evening for RomaniaTV that prosecutor Lucian Onea, the head of DNA Ploiesti, incriminated himself during the press conference he took part in on Monday. He claimed that the denunciation in his dossier is a forgery and that he has started overtures to present the Serbian judges “the truth about the fabricated evidence” on whose basis an arrest warrant and extradition arrest was issued on his name. “The Prosecutor General’s Office will have to prove it. They no longer have any wiggle room. Any power such as Kovesi’s is ephemeral. How come you didn’t arrest Kovesi? You were her accomplices! Those from the Prosecutor General’s Office have no way out!” Sebastian Ghita said.
“I watched Mr Onea’s press conference. He admitted that the voice in the recordings is his. In an outburst of anger, he told all of us that what he signed and sent to the judges does not belong to a citizen from Moldova. I wonder how he could have incriminated himself in that manner. Not only are those tables false, but the main link between these documents and Victor Ponta or I is made based on that falsified letter. Nothing else in that dossier tells us there is allegedly something linked to Ponta’s campaign. This man wanted to lie to the judges. He told us himself today. I wonder whether they believe they’ll get away with a press release,” Ghita stated on RomaniaTV.
He claimed the denunciation against him was falsified and the citizen that signed it – Serghei Petrus – does not exist.
“That denunciation is made by a citizen. He can be asked again to give a sample and his handwriting can be forensically analysed. That document is a forgery. A lot of stories are told there. That he worked for Ponta’s campaign. That citizen, Serghei Petrus, does not exist. It’s a forgery. There isn’t any undercover identity. This is Onea’s mistake. He tried to lie by omission. The Prosecutor General’s Office will have to prove it. There’s no longer any wiggle room for them. Any power such as Kovesi’s is ephemeral. How come you didn’t arrest Kovesi? You were her accomplices! Those from the Prosecutor General’s Office have no way out! Today they are making a fool of themselves with this historic public statement,” Sebastian Ghita claimed.
Ghita also claimed that the extradition request on his name was based on a false denunciation and he has started overtures to present Serbian judges “the truth about the fabricated evidence” on whose basis an arrest warrant and an extradition request was issued on his name.
Ponta: In 2015, I paid an official visit to the U.S. to talk about the rule of law in Romania; during that time, false evidence was being fabricated against me
On Monday, ex-Premier Victor Ponta posted on Facebook a brief comment on the scandal that is rocking the DNA: “In February 2015, I paid an official visit to the U.S. – I was received with an honour guard at the Pentagon and I was in the office of the CIA Director to discuss Romania’s role in the Strategic Partnership and the “rule of law” in Romania – I see that, during that time, DNA Ploiesti was fabricating false evidence against me, lying witnesses were being instigated, house searches targeting my mother and sister and the arrest of my brother-in-law was being prepared!”
Ludovic Orban on accusations levelled against DNA: It shouldn’t be the topic of political debates, because there is the CSM, the Judicial Inspection, the Justice Ministry. The golden dream of the corrupt from PSD is for Mrs Kovesi to no longer exist
National Liberal Party (PNL) President Ludovic Orban commented on the accusations levelled against the DNA following the recordings presented by ex-lawmaker Vlad Cosma, stating that they should not be the topic of political debates, there being state institutions that must verify the veracity of the information and consequently decide. He added that “the golden dream of the corrupt from PSD is for Mrs Kovesi – or another prosecutor that would continue the anticorruption fight – to no longer exist.”
“I believe there are state institutions that must see, verify the veracity of this information and consequently decide, in line with their prerogatives. I don’t believe they should be the topic of political debates. There is the CSM, the Judicial Inspection, the Justice Ministry, the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. If they turn out to be true, obviously all institutions who have prerogatives in this field must fulfil their constitutional and legal mission,” Orban stated in Parliament when asked for his comment on the recordings made public by Vlad Cosma, recordings that allegedly show that DNA Ploiesti Chief Lucian Onea asked him to modify documents and evidence that were subsequently used in Sebastian Ghita’s dossier.
The PNL President said that first it must be established whether the recordings are real.
“I don’t have great confidence in broadcast recordings. We don’t know how and in what way they are obtained and I’m extremely cautious in making public statements on such topics. (…) The persons who were involved and committed such things should answer. I don’t believe you now have to start throwing rocks at everybody. When we’re talking about any socio-professional category, I was never the fan of incriminating it as a group. Each person must be judged individually,” he said.
Asked whether he believes Laura Codruta Kovesi’s position is in danger, Orban said “the golden dream of the corrupt from PSD is for Mrs Kovesi – or another prosecutor that would continue the anticorruption fight – to no longer exist.”
Ex-Minister Elena Udrea: We have the complete picture of what the fight against corruption and the functioning of the judiciary means today
Former House lawmaker and minister Elena Udrea wrote on Facebook that “Romania has become a country in which the Establishment’s abuses, carried out via the judiciary, are revealed on a weekly basis.”
“We have the complete picture of what the fight against corruption and the functioning of the judiciary means today. Not only are targets selected, but their dossiers are also fabricated. Until now, we all found out about false witnesses told to write on command, under the threat of jail, about truncated recordings, falsified documents, but Kovesi and the Establishment behind her screamed that there was no evidence so the accusations weren’t credible. Now we have earth-shattering evidence.
“I couldn’t care less if they wanted to blackmail prosecutors with those recordings. Let there be an investigation that says whether that’s the case. I care that justice is made with falsified evidence or no evidence at all, that the prosecutors’ abuses are endorsed by corrupt judges who are appointed and kept in office by the Securitate, precisely in order to carry out orders, that all these heinous infringements of the law, committed by magistrates, are allowed by those who should stop them – the CSM, Government, Parliament, President.
“We’ve become a country in which the Establishment’s abuses, carried out via the judiciary, are revealed on a weekly basis. Inconceivable things in any country with a modicum of democracy are already commonplace in our country. We no longer know what to be indignant about or whether to still be indignant.
“Frustration and malice make us accept abuses, when it’s not happening to us. The Establishment’s power resides in this frustration. And in the lack of democratic experience, in being accustomed to dictatorship and to the infringement of any citizens’ rights, but especially in the cowardice of those ruling,” Udrea wrote on Facebook.
Prior to that, on the night of Sunday to Monday, after Vlad Cosma’s recordings were broadcast by Antena3, Udrea had written another Facebook posting:
“A nightmarish night, one could say, after we saw the recordings featuring prosecutors on Antena3. That is what any normal person – accustomed to the rules of democracy, rule of law, legal justice, the observance of laws etc. – would say.
“I’m only saying ‘bravo’ to those who preserved proof of the abuses committed by Kovesi and her prosecutors and by the representatives of the deep state.
“Now the propaganda agents will no longer manipulate by saying the revelations are the criminals’ lies and there is no evidence.
“It remains to be seen what will happen tomorrow, what the legal consequences will be, whether those involved will finally answer.
“P.S. I wonder… is Mr Dragos from the recordings – the one who starts illegally tapping a phone, at Negulescu’s request, without a judge’s warrant – the one who gives Orcan information on where my phone allegedly is?” Udrea wrote.
Basescu, asked if he believes Kovesi should resign: I don’t believe anything. You believe when in church
Ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Tuesday that he did not see Vlad Cosma’s recordings and accusations levelled against the DNA. Asked whether he believes DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi should resign, Basescu said he does not believe anything because “you believe when in church.”
“I don’t believe anything. You believe when in church,” Traian Basescu said.
Likewise, asked whether he saw the recordings that concern the DNA, he replied: “I haven’t.”