President Klaus Iohannis on Monday signed the decree on the appointment of Oliver-Felix Banila as prosecutor-in-chief of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), on a three-year period, the Presidential Administration informed.
“Romanian President Klaus Iohannis signed on Monday, July 23, the decree appointing Mr Oliver-Felix Banila as Chief Prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, for a period of three years,” the Presidential Administration informed.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader sent President Klaus Iohannis the nomination on June 11, having been endorsed by the Supreme Magistracy Council’s Section for Prosecutors.
Several DIICOT prosecutors decided back then, during the General Assembly, to send President Klaus Iohannis a letter asking him to reject the Justice Minister’s proposal that prosecutor Felix Banila should become Chief Prosecutor of the DIICOT.
Asked about this overture, Banila said he is waiting for the President’s decision and cannot engage in speculations: “It’s not deontological for me to comment, at this moment I’m just a nomination. The law is very clear regarding the steps to be taken. I’m waiting for the decision of the President of Romania, I cannot engage in speculations.”
Felix Banila’s contender for the position as Chief Prosecutor of DIICOT was Daniel Horodniceanu, the current acting Chief Prosecutor of the DIICOT.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was stating that he knows both candidates very well, both having been his students at the Law Faculty of Iasi, that both are experienced in holding managerial positions and that both of them were chiefs of units.
Asked why he preferred Felix Banila over Daniel Horodniceanu for the helm of DIICOT, the Justice Minister was saying that during the interview he asked the acting Chief of DIICOT what the statute of limitations and the acquittals situation is.
“Why I preferred him? It’s the first time I say it, but it’s not the full answer, not all considerations are there. For instance, during the interview, I asked Mr Horodniceanu about the reasonable case length. (…) What’s the explanation for the fact that we have 11-year unfinished criminal cases at DIICOT? That’s certain prescription. (…) After that, what about the acquittals? I don’t want to ask you to put yourself in the shoes of someone innocent who spends one, two, three, seven years [in prison], and then the court comes and says ‘Acquitted!’, ‘The guilty act does not exist!’, or ‘Does not meet the constitutive elements of the crime,’” the Justice Minister was stating.
He was pointing out that the commission analysed the activity of the two candidates and eventually drew a line.
Felix Banila (46) is working within the prosecutor’s office attached to the Bacau Tribunal. In 2010-2017, he led the prosecutor’s office attached to the Bacau Tribunal. In 2016, Banila unsuccessfully ran for a position within the CSM.
Daniel Horodniceanu’s term at the helm of DIICOT expired on May 19 and was extended by six months, in line with the procedure.
Banila, first reaction after appointment at helm of DIICOT: I’ll run an assessment to see what must be set right
On Monday, after President Klaus Iohannis appointed him at the helm of DIICOT, Prosecutor Felix Banila told MEDIAFAX that the first thing he will do in his new capacity will be to run an assessment of the entire directorate, to see “what situations must be set right.”
“I’m an optimistic nature and I was expecting such a reaction. On the other hand, it’s true that the President also had the other option. I can only thank him for the trust he has put in me,” Felix Banila stated for the MEDIAFAX press agency.
Asked about the first thing he will do at DIICOT in his new capacity, Banila said: “Firstly, I’ll run an assessment of the entire structure, to see which are the situations that must be set right.”
In his management project, he emphasised that the DIICOT Chief Prosecutor must also be a good psychologist, and one of the long-term objectives he has in view is to fall in line with the norms of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report.
Likewise, Felix Banila plans to create DIICOT’s own judicial police structure.
“Proposed modifications of the legislative and institutional framework to set up within DIICOT its own structure of judicial police, an objective that entails the carrying out of the following types of activities: identifying the necessary resources for the creation of its own structure of judicial police; analysing the indicators that would offer the degree of structuring based on the professional competencies of the judicial police officers that will make up this compartment in close connection with DIICOT’s material competence and the number of specific cases for each special section, service and bureau; devising working methodologies based on which the future judicial police officers that will work within DIICOT will carry out their activity,” the document reads.