Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said Monday that he is ready to notify the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) if President Klaus Iohannis does not approve his request for the removal from office of Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate Laura Codruta Kovesi, adding that he is awaiting the motivation of the Supreme Council of Magistrate’s Prosecution Section’s negative opinion on the same request and Iohannis’ decision.
Asked if he is prepared to notify the Constitutional Court if the President fails to comply with the request to remove Kovesi, Toader replied: “Yes, I am ready.”
“(…) We are waiting for the arguments of the Prosecution Section, and, as I was saying, I think the decision was taken within a few minutes, but the motivation takes about two weeks to come out because it is difficult to motivate against evidence. It is difficult to congratulate someone for having violated the Constitution thrice; one and the same person generating three legal conflicts of a constitutional nature in half a year among the state powers, even though about the third the Court has said: denied. The recitals are to the letter as in admission decision 68. Therefore, let us wait for the motivation of the Prosecution Section, wait for the President’s decision and then decide. (…) We will see then and we will proceed accordingly,” Toader said at a news conference at the Ministry of Justice.
Toader, announced on February 22 that he was starting a procedure for removal from office of the prosecutor-in-chief of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate Laura Kovesi Codruta for intolerable acts and deeds under the rule of law.
The Prosecution Section of CSM issued a negative opinion on February 27 on Toader’s proposal, according to CSM Deputy Chairman Codrut Olaru.
Inmate population decreases in Romania to 22,884, and 12,795 prison staff
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader also announced at a news conference on Monday that the inmate population in Romania is on a downward trend, with the number of outgoing detainees exceeding the number of incoming inmates.
He added that the size of the inmate population in Romania is 22,884, while 12,795 civil servants are working in the penitentiary system as special status prison staff.
“As we speak, there are 22,884 inmates in the penitentiary (…) and, when we mention the penitentiary system, the National Administration of Penitentiaries, we are talking about 12,795 civil servants with special status (…) The inmate population in Romania is on a downward trend, with the number of outgoing detainees exceeding the number of incoming inmates,” Toader said.
He pointed out however, that we should not expect issues in the penitentiaries to resolve naturally by reducing the number of people put behind bars.
“That is why we have taken and continue to take measures. In the category of infrastructure measures, you know that we have two prisons included in feasibility studies, the Berceni Penitentiary in Prahova County and the Unguriu Penitentiary in Buzau County. Each penitentiary will have with one thousand places, booth will be built up from scratch, and each of the two penitentiaries will be up to modern European standards,” said Toader.
He also announced that a school for initial and continuous training of prison staff will be set up in Bucharest.
“I am in favour of court clerks being taken over by Ministry of Justice”
Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader stated that, after meeting the representatives of the court clerks, he believes the best solution will be that this category becomes subordinated, in administrative terms, to the Ministry of Justice.
“I had many meetings with them and I believe that we have reached an agreement. I like what they said they wished for, not necessarily all of them, both verbally and in writing, that they wanted to be taken over by the Ministry of Justice, more precisely by an especially created department or to be integrated with one of the already existing departments. Of course, their social-professional profile remains the same, it doesn’t mean that they will stop doing their activity with the courts, with the prosecutors’ offices, but in administrative terms I have this written requested to create a department to move them under the administrative subordinated of the Ministry of Justice, so that the Ministry can take more care of their problems. I am glad for, like this, one one hand, they show concern for their status and, at the same time, they show that they trust the Ministry of Justice to be able to do this. I will also consult with the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM). They now say that they do not belong to the CSM, nor to the Ministry of Justice, but we are going to consult with the CSM and we are going to find a formula, in administrative terms. I am in favour of their being taken over by the Ministry of Justice,” Tudorel Toader told a press conference held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice.