Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Friday that the Prosecutor General is capable of anything to save his skin and claimed that Government Decision (GD) no.231/2005, adopted by the Government he led as Premier, did not concern protocols but the enforcement of the national anticorruption strategy. Tariceanu accused Augustin Lazar of “trying to justify his actions typical of a communist prosecutor.”
“The Prosecutor General is lying to save his own skin. I notice that the Prosecutor General is capable of anything to save his own skin, even of publicly lying. The communique issued by the Prosecutor General’s Office represents only a personal interpretation of the Government Decision adopted in 2005. GD no.231 does not concern protocols but the enforcement of the national anticorruption strategy. The strategy was listing a series of principles based on the observance of the rule of law, of the laws in force and of individual rights and freedoms. GD no.231 certainly did not establish the conclusion of secret protocols such as those that the services and judicial system institutions have concluded in the last 10 years or the one that Augustin Lazar signed with the SRI in 2016,” Tariceanu said.
He claimed that “what Augustin Lazar is doing is cheap manipulation to save his own skin, by shifting the blame.”
“The truth must be said: the protocols signed and revealed this year contained measures that were not stipulated in any law. The secret protocols added to the legislation in force via the simple agreement between the chief prosecutors and the heads of services. Where does GD no.231 talk about mixed teams? What paragraph of the GD says that the information in the dossier must not be made available to the defendant? The role of judiciary police was established through a deal between the prosecutors and the services, not via the GD. The prosecutors lodging reports with the services within a 60-day deadline is an invention of the brilliant minds who signed the protocols,” the ALDE leader wrote on Facebook.
Tariceanu accuses that “Augustin Lazar is trying, through communiques such as the one issued by the Prosecutor’s Office, to justify his actions typical of a communist prosecutor.” “The practices and methods that are specific to the communist period are not found in the GD. They were added subsequently by transient leaders of judicial system institutions and by the intelligence services,” Tariceanu went on to point out.
“If Augustin Lazar considers that through manipulation he saves his skin and can avoid giving explanations for his activity, he is sorely mistaken. The Prosecutor General is lying only to shift attention away from the accusations levelled against him,” the ALDE leader added.
Tariceanu’s statements come against the backdrop in which the Prosecutor’s Office announced on Friday that Government Decision no.231, dated 30 March 2005 and approving the National Anticorruption Strategy for 2005-2007 and the Action Plan to implement this strategy, stood at the basis of the protocols concluded with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). The representatives of the institution led by Augustin Lazar added that the Action Plan “unequivocally” establishes – as incumbent upon the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, National Anticorruption Directorate, Finance Ministry, Justice Ministry and Interior Ministry – the conclusion of protocols establishing the procedures for communicating with the Supreme Defence Council, Romanian Intelligence Service, Foreign Intelligence Service and other intelligence bodies.
The strategy was approved via Government Decision 231, dated 30 March 2005, when the Executive was led by Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
On Wednesday, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader triggered the procedure to have Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar dismissed from office, criticism concerning the protocols that the Prosecutor’s Office concluded with the SRI and the hiding of the truth concerning these documents being among the 20 points of the evaluation report.
Dragnea: A Government Decision does not mean a legal basis, GDs being “below the law”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Friday, referring to the Prosecutor General’s statement that the protocols with the SRI were concluded based on a Government decision adopted in March 2005, that a Government Decision does not mean a legal basis, GDs being “below the law.”
“No, I didn’t know about it (about Government Decision dated 30 March 2005, on the protocols – editor’s note). I don’t see what I should comment. If it’s a Government Decision, this doesn’t mean a legal basis, a Government Decision is below the law and, at any rate, it doesn’t influence in any way the abuses that have taken place in Romania because of the protocols,” Liviu Dragnea stated.
ALDE Vice President accuses Lazar of lying: He believes that he saves his office this way
ALDE Vice President Marian Cucsa has stated that Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar wants to save his office by lying about the Government Decision, and that he must be held accountable for the protocol signed with the SRI, against the backdrop of a CCR decision stipulating that the SRI cannot get involved in criminal probes.
“The Prosecutor General proves that ridiculousness no longer matters when it comes to saving his skin. Augustin Lazar hopes that through manipulation he can justify the fact that he kept under wraps the secret protocols that the Prosecutor General’s Office concluded with the intelligence service, but especially his own protocol with the SRI. He considers that by lying he will manage to shift the blame for the signing of illegal protocols. What the Prosecutor General forgets when talking about GD no.231/2005 is that this decision does not mention secret protocols, protocols that would add to the law, that would make the SRI a criminal prosecution body. If we analyse carefully, we will see that the GD only enunciates a series of principles on which the fight against corruption is based, including the rule of law or defending the rights and freedoms of citizens. It certainly does not talk about secret protocols in the form adopted by the Prosecutor General’s Office and the SRI, which gravely violated the law and the rights of Romanians,” Marian Cucsa states in a press release remitted to MEDIAFAX.
“The GD makes no mention of mixed teams or of the fact that prosecutors must report to SRI agents. These are only inventions of minds rooted in the old communist-Securitate thinking. In my capacity as Deputy Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I had the possibility to see the protocols – including those not yet public – and I can say that none of them has any link with the GD mentioned by the Prosecutor General’s Office, or with any other law in force. Why? Because nowhere in our legislation is there talk about secret protocols between services and prosecutors. In his desperation to save his office and skin, Augustin Lazar believes that lying will solve something. Well, this is out of the question. The Prosecutor General must be held accountable for his activity, and especially for the protocol signed with the SRI, against the backdrop of a CCR decision stipulating that the SRI cannot get involved in criminal probes,” Cucsa added.
In the ALDE Vice President’s opinion, observing the Constitution is optional for Augustin Lazar.
“He didn’t observe the Constitution when Kovesi violated it either, nor when he signed that protocol. Nowhere in Romanian legislation is there talk about the conclusion of secret protocols that would lead to cooperation between services and prosecutors in the sense of working together on dossiers, issuing verdicts together. These are only reminiscences of a period we hoped gone. Augustin Lazar is using techniques typical of a communist prosecutor, techniques such as manipulation and disinformation. The Prosecutor General is still anchored in the methods that prosecutors used before 1989. The Prosecutor General should no longer run and hide behind childish excuses, he must answer the dozens of accusations levelled against him. They are not few. Augustin Lazar put justice on pause by signing the protocol with the SRI and became an accomplice to the abuses perpetrated by some prosecutors. Today, the one who was saying several months ago that he does not want to hear about the protocols and that they are breaking the law now wants the protocols whitewashed at any cost and, why not, actually to continue,” the ALDE Vice President concluded.