Former head of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi announced on Wednesday night that she has received a subpoena from the Judiciary Crime Investigation Section as a suspect, adding she is innocent and will go on with the procedure to take the helm of the European Prosecution Office.
“I have been under a denigration campaign lately, which probably stems from some peoples’ desperation because I filled the first spot in the procedure to becoming European Chief Prosecutor. I can tell you that tonight [Wednesday, ed. n.] after 20:00hrs a police officer came to my house and subpoenaed me on behalf of the Judiciary Crime Investigation Section, as a suspect for the crime of abuse of office, bribe taking and false testimony. The very interesting thing is that this subpoena comes before I go to the European Parliament to be heard, but probably it is also a coincidence that I was initially announced about the procedure in the European Parliament, I understood that the hearing was going to be held on February 18, I bought my flight ticket for Friday to be able to go to Brussels and attend the hearing. In this respect, today I went to the High Court of Cassation and Justice and filed a postponement request for a trial in which the hearing was scheduled for Monday I attached to the postponement request the flight ticket indicating that I was going to leave the country on Friday. Few hours after I filed this request showing that I will be out of the country at the time of this hearing, I received this subpoena”, Laura Codruta Kovesi stated for private radio broadcaster Europa FM.
Kovesi added that she won’t give up her candidacy for the EU Chief-Prosecutor position and that she will go to Brussels for the European Parliament hearings.
Adina Florea, about the case in which Kovesi is subject to investigation: This case is the result of Sebastian Ghita’s complaint of December 2018 . If she doesn’t come, there are measures related to the subpoena modalities and bringing the investigated person
The head of the Department for Investigating the Magistrates, Adina Florea, stated on Thursday morning that the case in which Laura Codruta Kovesi is subpoenaed was opened as a result of Sebastian Ghita’s complaint of December 2018. Florea mentioned that everyone’s rights, and first of all the law will be respected.
Adina Florea also stated when leaving the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) that if Laura Codruta Kovesi will not come to the Friday’s hearing, there are procedural measures related to the subpoena modalities and bringing the investigated person.
“We don’t start to carry out the activities or any subject not having a legal basis. There is a criminal investigation work, which is as important as any criminal investigation conducted in any other case. The same procedural rights are respected as the ones that are respected for any person and that must be known by each person. There is nothing to be done or analyzed in two different ways. (…) The only framework in which discuss is the procedural and the legal one”, Adina Florea stated when leaving CSM.
Asked about what happens if the former DNA head will not come to hearings on Friday, Florea answered: “There are procedural measures related to the subpoena modalities and bringing the investigated person”.
“The deeds are not detailed in the subpoena, they are only mentioned, it’s a procedural activity. It’s about Ghita’s denouncement”, Adina Florea added.
“This case is the result of Sebastian Ghita’s complaint of December 2018. There’s an ongoing investigation, I can’t make any comment. From my point of view, the only thing that I can say is that there is an ongoing investigation, in which all the rights and freedoms of all the persons, the dignity of the investigated persons and first of all the law will be respected”, Adina Florea stated.
She mentioned that there is an in rem ongoing investigation, in which it was ordered to continue the criminal investigation related to a certain person.
On January 24, former MP Sebastian Ghita stated for Antena 3 that he will be heard from Serbia by the Department for Investigating Judiciary Offenses in the case related to Laura Codruta Kovesi, and if prosecutors will ask him, he will give them the photo in which the DNA head is at a party at his home, of which he spoke but he never revealed it to the public.
On December 9, 2018, Ghita announced he filed a criminal complaint against the former DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi. Sebastian Ghita claims that Laura Codruta Kovesi asked him to pay the flight for Nicolae Popa’s repatriation.
Iohannis asks Section for investigating crimes in Justice to quickly clarify situation regarding Kovesi case
President Klaus Iohannis requests the Section for investigating crimes in Justice to quickly clarify the situation regarding the case opened on the name of former prosecutor-in-chief of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi.
“The first priority of all those having responsibilities in the Romanian state, regardless of the offices that they have, should be the protection and strengthening of the rule of law. I request the Section for investigating crimes in Justice maximum fairness, the strict observance of the law and the rapid clarification of the situation regarding the case opened on the name of Mrs Laura Codruta Kovesi, with the leadership of this section bearing a huge responsibility in this respect,” a Presidential Administration release sent on Thursday informs.
The head of state underscored that the Special Section for Magistrates’ Investigation shouldn’t be in any way a political tool for investigating and intimidating magistrates and prosecutors. He brings to mind that he challenged this body ever since its establishment, which was severely criticised by the Venice Commission, the European Commission (EC) and the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), because it doesn’t present enough guarantees of independence in relation to the political factor and it can affect the citizens’ confidence in Justice.
“The PSD-ALDE [the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] majority willingly ignored all these warnings, therefore, this special section is currently functioning. The same majority, through a series of harmful amendments to the Justice Laws is directly responsible for generating the existing conflict among magistrates. The PSD-ALDE built, ever since the beginning, an anti-justice speech and carried out concrete demarches to dismiss the prosecutor-in chief of the DNA from office and Romania’s Prosecutor General, more recently, the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, denouncing pressures and interferences. I warn the PSD-ALDE majority to stop making other steps backwards which draw Romania away from its European journey as a strengthened democratic state. It’s imperative that the PSD-ALDE promptly implement the views of the Venice Commission and the recommendations included in the European Commission Report regarding the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism [CVM], so that the independence of justice and the fight against corruption should not be affected and the democratic foundation of the Romanian state should not be endangered,” Iohannis added.
He pointed out that the fight against corruption will continue in Romania, despite all “the aggressive efforts of those who want to take control over justice and kneel down the rule of law.”
PSD: Judiciary must be allowed to do its duty! Stop politicising the indictment of Mr Kovesi!
Social Democratic Party (PSD) representatives claim that the judiciary must be allowed to do its duty in the case of Laura Codruta Kovesi and ask that her “indictment” should not be politicised. “Today, the judicial laws adopted by the PSD-ALDE majority offer Mrs Kovesi sufficient guarantees that her fundamental rights will be respected during the investigation and there will be no interference on the part of the secret services, and if arraigned she will benefit from a fair trial, before legally-formed panels of judges,” the PSD points out.
“The judiciary must be allowed to do its duty! Stop politicising the indictment of Mrs Kovesi! Today, the judicial laws adopted by the PSD-ALDE majority offer Mrs Kovesi sufficient guarantees that her fundamental rights will be respected during the investigation and there will be no interference on the part of the secret services, and if arraigned she will benefit from a fair trial, before legally-formed panels of judges,” reads a message posted on PSD’s Facebook page on Thursday morning.
The party’s representatives claim they will respect the presumption of innocence in Kovesi’s case.
“Unlike the foul rhetoric of those who were accusing the ‘lawbreakers’ before a conviction, the PSD will respect Mrs Kovesi’s presumption of innocence and will not claim that she is ‘a lawbreaker,’ that she took bribe, committed abuse of office or perjury. All of this will have to be demonstrated in court. Until then, trust the judiciary and let the evidence do the talking, not the politicians!”, the PSD’s representatives add.
Olguta Vasilescu: Kovesi should complain of being abused by the ‘rule of law’ to those who were accused precisely during the elections campaign
Ex-minister Olguta Vasilescu tells Laura Codruta Kovesi that she should complain of being abused by the ‘rule of law’ to those who were accused precisely during the elections campaign.
“I’ve lived to see this! Laura Codruta Kovesi complains of being abused by “the rule of law”! When? Precisely when she was campaigning to become European Chief Prosecutor… Really? She should tell this to those who were indicted precisely during the elections campaign! Well, she should trust the judiciary, I say! Because this was the “lawbreakers” tune… And, to quote them, “some lawbreakers want to govern the country!”. Well, in this case, Europe itself! Or “in politics there is no presumption of innocence (with her being politically backed by the EPP group), and persons over whom reasonable suspicions are hanging must take a step back.” It’s the exact quote, isn’t it?
“P.S. You summoned me too, also as a “suspect.” Luckily, since my case, methods have changed a bit!”, Olguta Vasilescu wrote on Facebook.
PNL’s Orban says action undertaken in Kovesi case – political vengeance orchestrated by JusMin, PSD Chairman
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban believes that the action undertaken by the Special Section for Magistrates’ Investigation against former prosecutor-in-chief of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi represents “a political vengeance” orchestrated by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, under the coordination of Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea.
“In respect to the case of former prosecutor general and former head of the DNA Laura Codruta Kovesi, we believe that the action undertaken in her case cannot be placed under the coincidence mark, but rather under that of a political vengeance, orchestrated by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, under the direct coordination of PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea. Moreover, it seems a sign of despair the fact that the person conducting the investigation in Laura Codruta Kovesi case is the same one who was repeatedly proposed by Tudorel Toader as her successor at the DNA leadership, after the Justice Minister obtained Laura Codruta Kovesi’s forced dismissal. So, there are already elements highlighting a serious conflict of interest in this case, all the more so taking into account that in the CSM [the Superior Council of Magistracy] plenary meeting Adina Florea herself stated: ‘I was never an independent prosecutor.’ If the political affiliation to the PSD of her family members shouldn’t be normally questioned, through her behavior, as well as through the public positions expressed by members of her family, she proves an obvious political partisanship,” Orban stated, according to a release sent to AGERPRES on Wednesday.
In his view, the action triggered by the Special Section for Magistrates’ Investigation against the Romanian candidate to the leadership of the European Prosecutor’s Office is not at a coincidental moment.
“The PSD-ALDE [the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] established a structured politically controlled inside the justice system, in view of putting pressure on magistrates, intimidating them and getting vengeance in critical moments, in order to set them as examples for those who dare to conduct large-scale corruption investigations that might target the big fish of the day. Today, it’s perspicuous the fact that this body takes action precisely in this regard. The special section was established despite the negative opinion of the Superior Council of Magistracy, despite the critical standpoints expressed within the Special Parliamentary Committee which debated the amendments brought to the Justice Laws, despite the criticism of the professional associations, of the parliamentary opposition and the civil society,” the PNL Chairman stated.
He brought to mind that in the notification sent to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), the PNL underscored the unconstitutionality of setting up the Special Section for Magistrates’ Investigation and they obtained the notification of the Venice Commission.
“The Venice Commission has expressed serious reservations regarding the establishment of this special section, highlighting the risk of becoming a tool of pressure and intimidation over judges and prosecutors, and this has been accentuated by the issuance of OUG No..90/2018,” Orban said.
According to him, through the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) Report of November 2018, the European Commission (EC) requested “the immediate suspension” for the enforcement of the amendments brought to the Justice Laws and the subsequent emergency ordinances, including the rules regarding the establishment of the Special Section for Magistrates’ Investigation.
The PNL Chairman also indicates the fact the the EC requested the implementation of the recommendations of the CVM, the Venice Commission and the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).
He reiterated that the PNL representatives in the EP are involved in a political lobby action to endorse the candidacy of Laura Codruta Kovesi at the helm of the European Prosecutor’s Office.
Turcan: What is happening to Kovesi will happen every day in Romania if the PSD manages to bring the judiciary to its knees
National Liberal Party (PNL) First Vice President Raluca Turcan states that “what is happening this evening to Laura Codruta Kovesi is emblematic for what will happen every day in Romania if the PSD manages to bring the judiciary to its knees.”
“What is happening this evening to Laura Codruta Kovesi is emblematic for what will happen every day in Romania if the PSD manages to bring the judiciary to its knees. The whole country can see that the fierce fight for the control of the judiciary, a fight they have trigger from day one of their governance, sought not only the whitewashing of high-level felons but also the hounding of the judiciary against all inconvenient persons,” Turcan wrote on Facebook.
In her opinion, an investigation should be triggered, for everyone to find out who is doing this and at whose orders.
“At this moment in Romania, Liviu Dragnea is carrying out – via the section for investigating magistrates, with the support of Tudorel Toader – an ample action of political police. In this case, we are not talking about a person with a grave suspicion for corruption. We are talking about the best-positioned candidate in an international race for the office of European Chief Prosecutor,” Turcan adds.
Barna: Does anyone doubt that this knavery is done at Liviu Dragnea’s orders? The appointment of Codruta Kovesi as European Chief Prosecutor would mean the end of the rhetoric of hatred for Dragnea, Toader, Tariceanu and their acolytes
Save Romania Union (USR) President Dan Barna considers that Laura Codruta Kovesi was subpoenaed by the Section for Investigating Magistrates, precisely on the day on which she was supposed to go before the European Parliament to present her candidacy for the office of European Chief Prosecutor, because “Liviu Dragnea pressed a button.” “Does anyone doubt that this knavery is done at Liviu Dragnea’s orders? The appointment of Codruta Kovesi as European Chief Prosecutor would mean the end of the rhetoric of hatred for Dragnea, Toader, Tariceanu and their acolytes,” Barna claims.
“We will not accept returning to the dark times of dictatorship! Liviu Dragnea pressed a button and the “new” judiciary, the one made by the modifications imposed in Parliament, carried it out. Laura Codruta Kovesi was subpoenaed precisely on the day on which she is supposed to go before the European Parliament to present her candidacy for the office of Chief European Prosecutor. Does anyone doubt that this knavery is done at Liviu Dragnea’s orders? The appointment of Codruta Kovesi as European Chief Prosecutor would mean the end of the rhetoric of hatred for Dragnea, Toader, Tariceanu and their acolytes. Nobody would believe them anymore. Basically, her appointment would be the confirmation of the fact that for the past two years some felons have confiscated Romania,” Dan Barna states in a Facebook posting.
He adds that any citizen would legitimately ask themselves “how in the hell is the whole of Europe stupid and only Dragnea is right.”
“Dear friends, this is how Romania will look like if Dragnea and the PSD manage to fulfil their plan. Maybe until now the whole discussion about Dragnea’s dictatorial backsliding seemed a political discussion, a press headline. Today’s decision is the equivalent of a political execution that is as real as it can get. And for those of us who experienced the years of communist dictatorship, it is a brutal return to the past,” Barna claims.
According to him, now, when Romania is a member of the European Union and NATO, “there are political forces who want to turn us back to dictatorship,” but a dictatorship of “lawbreakers.”
“If Dragnea, Toader and Tariceanu, PSD-ALDE, win this war that they have declared to the rule of law, the age of black cars and made-up dossiers will return to Romania. #NoLawbreakers becomes an issue of national survival for us as a country. Access http://amsemnat.farapenali.ro and let’s prove that we are many. Many more than the lawbreakers who are governing us,” Dan Barna concluded.
Ciolos: PSD-ALDE have built the mechanisms needed to subject the judiciary to the interests of this crony network of power
Ex-Premier Dacian Ciolos claims that the decision of the Section for Investigating Magistrates to indict Laura Codruta Kovesi is proof that PSD-ALDE have built the mechanisms needed to subject the judiciary to the interests of this crony network of power.
Ciolos wrote on Facebook that “the attempt to intimidate and discredit Laura Codruta Kovesi is a public discrediting action specific to the current ruling power.”
“PSD-ALDE leaders don’t want the former head of the DNA becoming European Chief Prosecutor and are using the whole machine of manipulation and pressure, but also the politically subordinated institutions, to put a stop – even physically – to this appointment, on the last stretch. That is what they did to all those opposing them and it’s time to understand that the situation will grow worse as we approach the elections campaign. The decision of the Section for Investigating Magistrates to indict Laura Codruta Kovesi is proof that they have built the mechanisms needed to subject the judiciary to the interests of this crony network of power,” the PLUS leader adds.
“They have the power to do everything they want unless we energetically oppose them. Don’t forget all they have done, don’t forget that they have blocked the DNA and the entire judicial system, don’t forget August 10. Don’t forget they armed the Gendarmerie with war munition. They will be increasingly unchained and they will destroy all that is left to destroy in this country, they will obliterate institutions and persons, only for us to believe that none of us is better and we only deserve to live in the moral filth that they are selling, repackaged in the sinister fiction dubbed “governance programme.” It is our duty to react and change Romania for the good, standing beside people who are trying to remain upright and brave before Dragnea’s crime ring. Romania will not collapse, because Romanians will not accept having their country stolen again!”, Dacian Ciolos concludes.
USR MP: President Iohannis, are we going to make the referendum on justice? Maybe this is how we can clarify things. Go big or go home!
USR MP Stelian Ion asked President Iohannis to convene the referendum on justice, in order to clarify if Romanians want to be a nation of thieves.
“The octopus is furious. Criminals went to fibrillation when thinking that the former DNA Chief-Prosecutor will become the European Prosecutor. If the communist Minister Tudorel Toader, the criminals’ servant, couldn’t prevent this candidacy, they activated the emergency plan: LCK was accused by the odious Department for investigating Judiciary Offenses, specially created to get rid of inconvenient magistrates, Stelian Ion wrote on Facebook.
He asked President Iohannis to convene the referendum on justice.
“We must clarify one thing in this country, because it seems it’s not clear for some people: are we or are we not a nation of thieves? Do we or don’t we want criminals in public positions? President Iohannis, are we going to make the referendum on justice? Maybe this is how we can clarify things. I know, it’s risky, it’s expensive, but I honestly tell you I want to know if Romanians want to be a nation of thieves! Go big or go home!” the USR MP concluded.
ALDE leader in the European Parliament answered to USR’s letter: Kovesi is a valuable candidate for the European Prosecutor’s Office
The ALDE leader in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, answered to the Save Romania Union (USR) letter supporting Laura Codruta Kovesi for the position of the European Chief-Prosecutor, saying she is a valuable candidate, the USR Chairman Dan Barna stated on Thursday.
“Few days ago, we sent a letter supporting Mrs. Kovesi’s candidacy to the leaders of the European parliamentary groups. Today we have received an answer from the ALDE group’s president, who thanked to us for supporting Mrs. Kovesi and said he believes she is one of the most valuable candidates for this position”, Barna stated.
ALDE is the European party to which Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s party is also affiliated.
Guy Verhofstadt has repeatedly criticized ALDE Romania.
On February 4, Save Romania Union announced they will send to the MEPS and groups in the European Parliament a letter supporting Laura Codruta Kovesi’s candidacy for the position of the European Prosecutor.
European Commission’s reaction on Kovesi’s investigation: The Commission is closely observing the latest developments
European Commission announced on Thursday that it is closely observing the latest developments in the context of the selection procedure for the leadership of the European Prosecutor’s Office, for which position Laura Codruta Kovesi is also running.
“The Commission is closely observing the latest developments in the context of the selection procedure. As for the Romanian judiciary, I have repeatedly reiterated very clear that an independent, professional judiciary is highly important. The Commission knows that all the candidates for the position of the European Chief-Prosecutor have been assessed by the independent selection committee, and the shortlist has been sent to the European Parliament and the Council”, stated the spokesman of the European Commission, Schinas Margaritis.