National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutor-in-chief Laura Codruta Kovesi said on Wednesday that she has no reason to resign, pointing out that she has observed the law in everything she has done.
Kovesi took part in a press conference at the institution’s headquarters on Wednesday evening, a much-awaited move in the scandal that is rocking the institution, a scandal that erupted after the DNA was accused of fabricating evidence in corruption dossiers. This was Kovesi’s first press conference in the 12 years she has been Chief Prosecutor. Prior to that, according to RomaniaTV sources, the head of DNA Ploiesti was summoned for a debriefing. Judicial sources state Laura Codruta Kovesi allegedly asked Lucian Onea to explain the latest events.
The DNA Chief Prosecutor’s announcement came after the CSM President had demanded the hastening of procedures that might restore confidence in the judicial system.
“DNA observed the law”
Laura Codruta Kovesi stated during the press conference that, following the information that started appearing publicly on Sunday evening, she demanded and on Wednesday received from DNA Ploiesti a report on the stage of the dossiers that concern the members of the Cosma family and the allegedly illegal aspects. She said she sent the report to the Prosecutor General too.
“As a result of the information that has appeared in the public space, I asked the DNA Ploiesti for a written report on the things that appeared in the public space, on the stage of the dossiers, and the allegedly illegal aspects. Following the information received today, a written report has been sent to the Prosecutor General too, to inform him about the exact situation,” Kovesi said.
She pointed out that DNA Ploiesti handled several cases in which members of the Cosma family were heard, mentioning that Vlad Cosma has been sentenced to 5 years in prison, while his father Mircea Cosma has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.
Kovesi said that former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma was heard in 12 dossiers, and, on many occasions, he showed up at the DNA on his own initiative and lodged denunciations.
The DNA Chief Prosecutor stated that the defendants made groundless public statements. “We are unjustly accused of fabricating evidence.” She said that DNA prosecutors did not falsify evidence and they observed the law. Referring to the recordings that Vlad Cosma presented, Kovesi claimed they are truncated and edited.
“This attack does not come by chance, lately we are witnessing a desperate festival of the defendants,” Kovesi stated.
“We have internal mechanisms of self-cleaning”
The anti-corruption chief prosecutor also stated that DNA has its own internal self-cleaning mechanisms and if a prosecutor broke the law, it doesn’t mean that they are all the same.
“DNA has proved that it observes the law, that the law is the same for everybody. (..) If one prosecutor from one institution broke the law, this doesn’t mean that they are all the same,” Kovesi told a press conference at the DNA headquarters.
“This attack aims to bring Romanian state to its knees, humiliate society”
Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi also said on Wednesday evening that the latest attack on justice is not by chance, as it is designed to “bring the Romanian state to its knees and humiliate the society.”
“I do not think this attack is accidental. We have lately witnessed a desperate festival of defendants, a festival in which condemned defendants, defendants sent to court have said untruths, or half-truths. This is not about Kovesi or the DNA chief prosecutor (…) DNA is not a human being, DNA is an institution (…) This attack is not about Kovesi, this attack is about prosecutors who have done their job in recent years and this attack is aimed bringing Romanian state to its knees and humiliating the society, humiliating the Romanian citizens,” Kovesi said at a press conference.
She added that justice has been “under assault” for more than a year, and those who attacked are people with resources who want to strip the act of justice of credibility.
“Why are we being attacked? Because we have done our job, because we have proved corruption, that is why we are under attack. Justice has been under an assault (…) for over a year. If we take a look at who is attacking, we can see condemned defendants, defendants sent to trial (…) Moneyed people, people with resources, people who have the means and who want to strip the act of justice of credibility, who want to disparage corruption,” said Kovesi.
“Defendant’s right to make denunciations, we don’t take them for granted”
Any defendant has the right to make denunciations, however it is the prosecutors’ duty to verify the veracity of the facts being denounced, Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi stated on Wednesday.
“There are situations in which the defendants come and make denunciations, at DNA or other structures with the Prosecutor’s Office. It is their right to denounce, we cannot forbid someone to make denunciations. Access to justice is free. The prosector’s obligation is to verify that denunciation, we do not take for granted any incrimination being carried out. Each denunciation must be verified, because behind the denunciation, there are other interests, most of the times. Just as it is the defendant’s right to defend himself publicly or to make statements, it is their responsibility,” Kovesi told a press conference.
She added that not any denunciation is followed through by an indictment, only those which are corroborated by evidence.
“I can only tell you that any denunciation carried out by the defendant is checked. It can be confirmed through the evidence being managed or, as the situation is most of the times, it can be refuted by the evidence being served. It does not mean that if a defendant makes a denunciation, prosecutors will automatically carry out a prosecution,” the DNA head specified.
INEC experts establish recording allegedly giving subordinate prosecutors orders, edited
Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi said on Wednesday evening that the National Forensic Report Institute (INEC) established upon examination that the recording in which she had allegedly given orders to subordinate prosecutors “to get to the premier” has undergone editing.
“There are two examinations in the case that find that I did not make those statements. Even the Judicial Inspection itself finds that I did not make that affirmation. All the witnesses having been heard, the prosecutors who were at the meeting respectively, said I did not make that statement. And I did not utter that statement. Ever since that first evening (…) when that recording surfaced I specified that I did not make certain affirmations. (..) Certain words, I will not tell which ones, if you put on the headphones and listen carefully, you will hear that those were not the words to have been uttered, the rendering is wrong. I mentioned and I mention that it has been established, upon an examination carried out by the Forensic Institute, the fact that the recording underwent editing, modifications,” Laura Codruta Kovesi told a press conference at the DNA seat.
On 18 June, a recording in which Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate Laura Codruta Kovesi supposedly gave orders to prosecutors in her subordination “to get to the Premier” was aired at Subiectiv show, at private TV broadcaster Antena 3, TV station according to which in that respective recording the DNA head was talking to prosecutor Jean Uncheselu.
The same day, the DNA spokesperson, Livia Saplacan affirmed the recording released in the public space, in which Laura Codruta Kovesi is supposedly giving orders to prosecutors “to get to the Premier” contains fragments in which certain phrases had been interspersed so as to distort the meaning of what was said.
“The recording contains fragments uttered by the Chief-Prosecutor publicly or in staff meetings with the prosecutors of an operative section. In between the respective fragments a series of phrases that do not belong to her were interposed and which are meant to seriously distort the content of what was said,” Livia Saplacan told AGERPRES.
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