Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on Wednesday stated that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila agreed to have the Constitutional Court notified on Monday in relation to the President’s refusal to remove from office National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
“I spoke with Mrs. Prime Minister no later than yesterday. I presented her (…) the main aspects that the notification to the CCR could include. In the end, we have established that, these days, I should also capitalize on the political document from the President and on Monday I will meet Mrs. Prime Minister again. And, of course, I will also see her today, at the Government. On Monday we also have the visit of the Minister of Justice from Croatia, but I will find time to meet Mrs. PM as well. I will present her the notification in detail and I hope that she will approve it and we will be able to notify the CCR on Monday,” said the Minister.
He also specified that the draft for the notification already exists, but it needs to be completed with the arguments that the President brought in the document by which he rejected the request for removal of Mrs. Kovesi.
“(…) We said that we are going to challenge his decision with the Court and that’s what we are going to do. The Court will decide and we will proceed as such,” Toader also said.
Asked whether Prime Minister Viorica Dancila agreed with having the Court notified in relation to this matter, Tudorel Toader said: “Yes. She hasn’t seen the final version yet, but she agreed with the aspects that I have presented her so far.”
The Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, on Monday announced that he will notify the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) about the refusal of President Klaus Iohannis to remove from office Chief Prosecutor of the DNA, Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Toader: I did not act on my behalf, but on behalf of Gov’t
Toader also announced on Wednesday that the decision to notify the Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) after President Klaus Iohannis’ refusal to remove from office Head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi is not some personal initiative, but he acted on behalf of the Government of which he is a member.
After attending an event organised by the Bucharest School of Economics (ASE), Toader was asked by journalists to comment on a statement by President Iohannis that the justice minister “is disgruntled” because his request for Kovesi’s removal was denied.
“If he told you, can I contradict him? The President of the Republic always thinks he is right, does he not? I have not acted on my behalf, and that I can tell you so that anyone can hear it. I behave like the minister of justice on behalf of the ministry I co-ordinate, and at the same time being a member of the Government of the ruling alliance. So this hypothesis is absolutely excluded because I did not act and do not act personally. To back my argument, I do not think that the prime minister, the alliance in power would heed to my personal request. I acted and will act on behalf of the government only,” Toader explained.
Asked about his expectation from notifying the CCR, Toader replied that the Constitutional Court will rule “in favour of the rule of law.”
President Iohannis on decision regarding DNA’s Kovesi: No conflict and no grounds to notify CCR
President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday said that there is “no conflict and no grounds” for the notification of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) in respect to his decision not to remove from office National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
“In my opinion, there is no conflict and no grounds for the notification of the Constitutional Court. In the entire dismissal request procedure initiated by the minister, the request for the CSM’s [Superior Council of Magistrates] opinion and in the end my decision, the legislation in force in this field has been observed 100 percent and, as we all know, the law leaves it to the president to decide if he accepts or doesn’t accept this proposal of removal from office. There are no grounds,” the head of state said at Parliament, after he participated in the opening session of the first Parliamentary Summit of the Bucharest (B9) Format.
He underscored that, in his point of view, the procedure has run its course.
“It would have been particularly strange if each time a decision-making factor makes a decision that is not to the likes of a partner or an institution we would be facing a constitutional conflict. That is out of the question. I personally believe we can understand that the minister is personally dissatisfied that his request was denied, but from that point to a constitutional conflict there is a long way. I repeat, there is no conflict between the president and the government and there are absolutely, but absolutely no grounds for the notification of the CCR. What should they notify or what should the Court judge? That I didn’t agree in a matter where the law clearly states that I can agree or disagree. Or can the Court judge on the opportuneness of the decision I made? Under no circumstance. From my point of view, the procedure has run its course,” Iohannis showed.
President Iohannis showed that he sent the Justice Minister the arguments for the rejection of the proposal to remove the DNA Chief Prosecutor from office.
“Maybe he didn’t check his mail. I sent him a letter the day after I made the press statement, first thing in the morning, maybe he didn’t go to the ministry, it happened before,” he said.
The head of state pointed out that the DNA is a responsible institution with outstanding results.
“If in certain units of the DNA problems come into view, I am positive that there are absolutely all the necessary and legal instruments to put things in order. I said it on several occasions. When problems come up, in all large systems problems come up from time to time, it is very important to act fast, firmly and to clarify things,” Iohannis added.
He showed that he did not discuss with the Speakers of Parliament about the rejection of the proposal to dismiss DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi from office.
“It wouldn’t have been opportune, it wouldn’t have been the case to do so and I believe this shows that everyone understood the role of each institution in this demarche. It is a good thing that inopportune discussions aren’t carried out,” Iohannis said.
Tariceanu: I believe notifying CCR about President’s refusal to dismiss Kovesi is called for
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said on Wednesday that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader must notify the Constitutional Court and doing so is called for because the President refused to dismiss DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
“I believe the notification must be lodged, the Justice Minister announced that the Government – the Prime Minister, I emphasise – will lodge this notification, something that, in my opinion, is called for given the President’s refusal to sign the dismissal of the Chief Prosecutor,” Tariceanu said when asked about President Klaus Iohannis’s statement according to which there are no grounds for the notification of the CCR.
Asked about the CSM’s main role to intervene regardless of the President’s decision, and to regulate what is happening within the DNA, Tariceanu said that he does not comment on the way the institution worked in recent years, because his attitude would only serve to reflect contentment.
“The CSM has a distinct role, described in the Constitution, which is that of guarantor of the independence of the judiciary. I don’t want to talk about the way the CSM has exercised this role in recent years, and my attitude would probably only serve to reflect contentment with the way the CSM functioned and saw fit to undertake this role as real guarantor of the independence. This isn’t about some problem with the CSM, the legislation in force is clear regarding the role of the President, the role of the Justice Minister in what concerns the appointment and dismissal procedures,” he went on to say.