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September 26, 2021
INTELLIGENCE JUSTICE POLITICS

President Iohannis when asked about decision on dismissal of DNA Chief: This week is also dedicated to reading. “I don’t put pressure on any judge”. Head of State explains why he picked Vlase for SIE leadership

President Klaus Iohannis was asked on Tuesday whether he has finished reading the substantiation of the Constitutional Court decision in what regards the dismissal from office of the DNA Chief Prosecutor, his answer being: “This week is also dedicated to reading.”

A week ago, President Klaus Iohannis had a first reaction after the Constitutional Court’s substantiation of its decision on the dismissal of DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi was published, stating that the substantiation brings to the surface more questions than answers but that maybe a subsequent profound study “will bring us closer to the truth.” He added that the PSD “is trying to amputate the President’s powers because the President has a different opinion” and it is obvious that the Constitutional Court decision “comes exactly along PSD’s line to amputate the President’s powers.”

Asked several times whether he will sign the decree dismissing from office Laura Codruta Kovesi, the Head of State said he will react within reasonable time, pointing out that one cannot wait until December, for example, but that he does not believe he is seriously expected to enforce a decision in one or two days’ time either. He added that “there will be no impeachment” because there are no grounds for such an overture.

Likewise, after the CCR decision on the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor was published, Klaus Iohannis stated that what is needed is an ample debate in which all those who are interested should take part, because the substantiation raises several questions whose answers are essential for the architecture of the state: What is still the role of Romanian prosecutors? Do we have a new Super-Minister of Justice, who decides, and the President executes? What does the CSM still mean? The President mentioned that a referendum could be organized at the end of this debate.

 

Iohannis on allegedly pressuring constitutional judge: Putting pressure on a judge would be fundamentally wrong

 

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday, about allegation by magistrate Petre Lazaroiu that he does not put pressure on any judge, adding “that would be fundamentally wrong.”

Asked by journalists to comment on allegations that Lazaroiu would have been summoned by presidential adviser Simina Tanasescu who reportedly informed him that Iohannis is urged by an association to issue a decree to remove him from office, Iohannis said: “I know there was discussion, I know that a press statement was released, and I know that the statement contains all that has to be said, because I read it before it was given to you; that was a discussion, but I was very surprised by how some have interpreted the discussion as allegedly pressure from the President. There is no pressure, and I do not put pressure on any judge; that would be fundamentally wrong, and I know what Mrs Tanasescu talked about: there was no pressure whatsoever.”

Iohannis said that there had been a distortion for political reasons. “The whole matter was distorted for purely political reasons, I have no idea why Judge Lazaroiu is playing such game,” he added.

Asked by the media if Tanasescu had informed him before discussing with Lazaroiu, Iohannis said that Tansescu told him that there was a complaint from an NGO and asked if he would allow her to tell Lazaroiu about it.

“It was a public complaint registered with us, and it seemed to me that it is right at least for the person who is the subject of a complaint to know that, without that being interpreted as pressure or as an inappropriate initiative,” Iohannis said.

Asked by journalists if he will issue a decree to remove Lazaroiu from the Constitutional Court (CCR), Iohannis said that he had decided nothing in that respect, and that the discussion between Lazaroiu and Tanasescu was a theoretical one between two specialists, and it is not a question of him issuing a decree of removal.

“It was nothing like that; it was a theoretical discussion between two specialists, and I decided absolutely nothing in that respect,” added Iohannis.

CCR judge Petre Lazaroiu told AGERPRES on Friday that he was summoned by one of President Klaus Iohannis’ advisers, who told them that the head of state is urged by an association to issue a decree removing him from office.

The Presidential Administration said in a press statement that Simina Tanasescu had a technical discussion, without the involvement of the President of Romania, with judge Petre Lazaroiu about the request of NGO VeDem Just, underlining that any speculation or insinuation regarding any pressure exerted on the magistrate is completely untrue and unfounded.

 

“Personal experience, training recommend Vlase to head counterintelligence agency”

 

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that personal experience and training are what recommend Gabriel Vlase to take over the directorship of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), adding that he had picked him for this position without having a discussion with the Social Democratic Party (PSD), of which Vlase is a member.

Asked how he had made the decision to pick Vlase to head SIE, Iohannis replied: “Through a careful analysis. We analysed the possible candidates (…) taking into account experience, expertise, training. After concluding the analysis, I invited Mr Vlase in. I told him that the analysis led to this opportunity for him, and I proposed his nomination. He accepted it, and here we are now.”

At the same time, Iohannis said he had not discussed with the PSD about taking over the SIE leadership. “That was my proposal. I had no discussions with the PSD on this issue,” Iohannis said.

He added that that experience and training recommends Vlase for the position of SIE director.

On June 14, Iohannis sent a letter to the chairs of Parliament in which he recommended the appointment of Gabriel Vlase as director of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

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