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February 8, 2023

Hearings at CSM in case concerning DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi and her deputy. CSM Section for Prosecutors summons them again for May 9 hearing

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi and DNA Deputy Chief Prosecutor Marius Iacob, against whom the Judicial Inspection (JI) opened disciplinary actions in January, were heard for approximately half an hour at the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) on Wednesday and were summoned again for a hearing on May 9.

The disciplinary meeting of CSM’s Section for Prosecutors started at 10 a.m., was not public and lasted approximately half an hour.

The DNA Chief Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor made no statement when leaving the CSM.

Laura Codruta Kovesi said she would file with the Section for Prosecutors of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) requests for serving evidence and defence requests.

“This is a procedure that is not public. We have showed up. We will present requests for serving evidence and defence requests and we will see the result. We will serve evidence in our defence, we will defend ourselves, we will see the decision,” Kovesi at the entrance to the CSM headquarters.

On January 12, the Judicial Inspection started a disciplinary action against DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, who is accused of three disciplinary offences. A similar action was started against DNA Deputy Chief Prosecutor Marius Iacob.

Among other things, the DNA Chief Prosecutor is accused of carrying out actions that harm the honour, professional probity, or prestige of the judiciary, both on duty and off duty.

A similar action was also started against DNA Deputy Chief Prosecutor Marius Iacob, for “failure to observe the duty to abstain when the judge or prosecutor knows that one of the cases stipulated by law for their abstention is relevant,” namely of carrying out a criminal probe without formulating an abstention statement, even though he clearly found himself in a situation of incompatibility as stipulated by Article 64, Paragraph 1, Letter f, referring to Article 65(1) and Article 66 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

One of the offences noted by the JI in Kovesi’s case concerns the leaked recordings of a working meeting from 18 June 2017. “The Chief Prosecutor of the DNA expressed herself in the sense of countering the negative effects impacting the institution’s image and credibility, effects generated by CCR [Constitutional Court of Romania] Decision no.68/2017, by urgently handling dossiers ‘involving ministers,’ dossiers with a media impact, and expressed her disagreement regarding the legal, final and generally mandatory character of CCR Decision no.68/2017, and used inappropriate expressions when referring to the Constitutional Court and a Constitutional Court judge, inducing the idea, in the public opinion, that one of the criteria on whose basis the solving of cases is prioritised consists of their media impact and of the official capacity of the persons investigated,” the Judicial Inspection says.

Likewise, the DNA Chief Prosecutor is accused that “she addressed her fellow prosecutors in a patronising and aggressive manner, inadmissible in relation to a magistrate’s minimal standards of ethics and deontology, liable to generate in the public opinion a feeling of outrage and legitimate doubt regarding the observance of the principles of the supremacy of the Constitution and of the laws, and of the impartiality of prosecutors.”

“Through electronic mail (email), she adopted an undignified attitude, referring to prosecutors by using words and expressions that have an obvious denigrating, insulting and threatening content, namely ‘cowards,’ ‘gossipers,’ ‘criminals,’ letting them know that ‘there is already a circle of suspects,’ in regard to a criminal dossier, thus breaking the obligation to be cautious and the norms of conduct attached to the profession of magistrate,” the JI pointed out in a communique issued in January.

The DNA Chief Prosecutor is also blamed that, “by appointing, as prosecutor in charge of a case, a magistrate who was in an obvious state of incompatibility, she broke the DNA’s Internal Regulations which refer to the Chief Prosecutor’s prerogatives and stipulate that he/she ‘monitors the allocation of cases or, if need be, allocates cases based on objective criteria such as the prosecutor’s specialisation and training, volume of work, the complexity of cases and the efficiency in solving cases, conflict of interests or incompatibilities.’”

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