Referring to the Justice Minister’s demand that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi be dismissed from office, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar stated on Monday, for Digi24, that he is waiting “with great interest” for the substantiation of the Supreme Council of Magistracy ( CSM) Section for Prosecutors – which issued a negative report on the dismissal request –, noting that some considerations could be noted during the actual debate. Likewise, Lazar avoided making an estimate on the decision that the Head of State will take, stating only that he believes he will also look at CSM’s substantiation, reiterating the statement according to which the assessment of a magistrate holding leadership positions “must be made based on the internal standards of the institutions of the judicial system.”
“We are waiting with great interest for the substantiation of the Section for Prosecutors, to see what were the considerations of essence and of form on the basis of which they issued this report. Some considerations could be noticed right there, during the debate. Certain aspects were clarified on the spot and they also outlined the point of view of the Public Ministry, which was grounded, in the sense that there are no solid reasons for the dismissal request. DNA prosecutors correctly calculated the acquittals. The number of acquittals in 2017… we notice a 9 percent drop compared to the previous period,” the Prosecutor General stated for Digi24.
Asked for his opinion on the interpretations according to which the President is obligated to accept the Justice Minister’s dismissal request, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar stated: “I don’t want to anticipate in any way the presidential decision. I believe the President will also look at the way our colleagues from the CSM will substantiate. The fact that the assessment of a Public Ministry magistrate must be done based on the internal standards of the institutions of the judicial system will matter a great deal. There are some criteria, very well known, they are considered by those from within Justice, by the institutions qualified to make the assessments.”
He explained that any assessment from the outside clearly has a political character, especially since he heard in the public space the suggestions given to the Justice Minister, as to how he should act.
“Obviously, politicians can have a public debate without any kind of problem. It’s a free debate, a free world. But that’s precisely why the CSM, the guarantor of the independence of magistrates… and that’s precisely why the laws dating back from 2004, the three laws regulating the judicial system, entail the way the activity of a high magistrate of the Public Ministry is assessed. The guarantor of the magistracy cannot be affected in any way by someone from the executive, from the outside,” the Prosecutor General argued.
He added that, seeing the problems that have lately appeared in the public space, he has noted that “an action to scan the whole Public Ministry, for all the vulnerabilities that exist within prosecutor’s offices,” is absolutely necessary.
“We must act preventively. Disciplinary problems, dossiers left unworked for many years even though we have an order that imposes the periodical verification of all the dossiers running late, and most of the times these are complex dossiers in which the expertise should have been carried out, international judicial cooperation, dossiers in which conflicts of competence appeared between various structures of the Public Ministry and the dossiers circulated from one structure to the another,” Lazar said.