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March 24, 2023

Kovesi case: Former DNA chief prosecutor has second recusal request denied

Chief Prosecutor of the Magistrates’ Investigation Section Gheorghe Stan has denied a second application filed by former chief anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi to have Adina Florea, who has dealt with the case in which Kovesi is accused of abuse of office, bribery and false testimony, recused, judicial sources told AGERPRES on Tuesday.

On February 15, Laura Codruta Kovesi was called to the Magistrates’ Investigation Section to be heard in a case opened for the extradition to Romania of disgraced trust fund manager Nicolae Popa.

Kovesi then announced that she had filed two requests for the recusal of prosecutor Adina Florea, and the head of the Magistrates’ Investigation Section Gheorghe Stan, the reason being their challenged impartiality.

The request for Adina Florea’s recusal was dismissed on the same day by Stan, after which General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar dismissed the request for the recusal of Gheorghe Stan.

Kovesi returned on Monday with a second request for Adina Florea’s recusal, but the request was rejected also.

The case in which Laura Codruta Kovesi is accused was opened in December 2018 following a complaint by former deputy Sebastian Ghita, who has fled to Serbia after being sent to court in several corruption cases.

Ghita argued that in 2011 Kovesi asked him to pay 200,000 euros to bring Popa, internationally wanted back then, to Romania on an Indonesian plane.

Prosecutors with the judiciary crime investigation section (SIIJ) claim that Laura Codruta Kovesi asked for and received in 2011 268,689 lei from businessman Sebastian Ghita in connection with the extradition of Nicolae Popa.

Kovesi is also accused of dragging the Attorney General’s Office in the extradition procedure of Popa in violation of the legal provisions and ordering the transportation expenses to be borne by the persons who had the obligation to ensure the arrival of the disgraced businessman and who were part of the Centre for International Police Cooperation within the Romanian General Police Inspectorate as well as by a person who was active officer of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

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