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April 16, 2021

Judicial Inspection starts disciplinary action against DNA Chief. Kovesi designated her aide to carry out audits at two territorial branches

The Judicial Inspection (JI) has noted, following some verifications, that the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) committed two disciplinary offences after she allegedly delegated her aide – judge Dana Titian – to carry out audits at two territorial branches. The report has been transmitted to the Section for Prosecutors of the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM).

“The Judicial Inspection has conducted disciplinary action against Ms Laura Codruta Kovesi, chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) over commission of disciplinary deviations provided for under Article 99 (g) of the Law No.303/2004, namely failure to observe the instructions of a higher hierarchical prosecutor given in writing and in accordance with the law, namely knowingly violating the provisions of Article 7 (3) in Order 5 of January 12, 2016 issued by the attorney general with the Supreme Court of Justice, which regards the competence to order and conduct thematic control: ‘control for special instances and thematic control shall be ordered by the managers of the prosecutor’s offices and carried out by them directly or through designated prosecutors’, by appointing the counselor to the DNA chief prosecutor, a reassigned judge, who was obviously in a state of incompatibility with regard to the conduct of the thematic control at two local services,” the IJ said Wednesday in a press statement.

The Judicial Inspection also took disciplinary action over commission of deviations provided for in Article 99 (m), second sentence, of the Law No.303/2004, namely “unjustifiably failing to carry out other administrative duties stipulated by the law or regulations” in that, in order to carry out the same thematic control, she willingly violated Article 65 (3) in the Law No.304/2004, republished and amended, transposed into the provisions of Article 7 (s) of the Internal Regulations of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, which regards the duties of the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, who “shall exercise control over the activity of prosecutors and to all the subordinate staff, directly or through designated prosecutors; in this case the designation involved the counselor to the chief prosecutor of DNA, a reassigned judge who is said to have been in an obvious state of incompatibility.

“By violating the regulation and appointing to the control team a magistrate in an objective and manifestly incompatible state, the principles of legality, impartiality and fundamental rules (Articles 1 (5), 16 (1) and (2), 20, 21 (3), 132 (1) of the Constitution of Romania, Article 5 of the Law No.303/2004 corroborated with Article 58 (3) of the Law No.303/2004 and Article 65 (3) of the Law No. 304 / 2004), as well as the prestige and credibility of the act of justice in which the National Anticorruption Directorate was involved.”

According to IJ, a disciplinary report was submitted to the Prosecutors’ Disciplinary Section of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), which will decide on the liability of Kovesi.

Prior to this, the inspectors carried out another verification that resulted in them noting other disciplinary offences in what concerns Laura Codruta Kovesi.

Some of the disciplinary offences committed by the DNA Chief Prosecutor and noted by the inspectors concern the leaked recordings of a working meeting that took place on 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 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 to 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 the cases’ media impact and of the official capacity of the persons investigated,” the Judicial Inspection pointed out in a press release in January.

According to the mentioned source, Kovesi “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.”

Another infringement of the law concerns an e-mail that the Chief Prosecutor sent, one in which, according to the inspectors, “she adopted an undignified attitude, addressing 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.”

Likewise, the Judicial Inspection claimed that, “by appointing as prosecutor in charge of a case a magistrate who was in an obvious state of incompatibility, Laura Codruta Kovesi 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.’”

The action also targets 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 for 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.”

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