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May 19, 2022

Laura Codruta Kovesi to be subpoenaed again by Section for Investigating Magistrates

Former chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and candidate for European Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi was subpoenaed to appear on March 7 before the Magistrates’ Investigation Section in the case where she is accused of abuse of office, bribery and false testimony, judicial sources told AGERPRES on Thursday.

Kovesi was subpoenaed in the same case on February 15, but she was not heard then because she requested the recusal of the case prosecutor Adina Florea and of the Section chief prosecutor 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 also dismissed the request for the recusal of Gheorghe Stan.

The case in which Laura Codruţa Kovesi is accused was opened in December 2018 following a complaint by former deputy Sebastian Ghita who had fled to Serbia after being indicted in several corruption cases. Ghita claims that in 2011 Kovesi asked him to pay 200,000 euro for bringing disgraced trust fund manager Nicholas Popa, internationally wanted back then, from Indonesia on a flight.

This week Laura Codruta Kovesi was heard by the European Parliament’s CONT and LIBE committees in her bid for the position of EU’s Chief Prosecutor and emerged as the top pick following the separate vote by both committees.

The proposal resulting from the vote of the LIBE committee and the CONT committee’s recommendation will be sent to the EP Conference of Presidents (the EP President and political group leaders) by the Chair of the LIBE committee.

A decision on the steps to follow in this procedure will be made on March 7, before negotiations with the EU Council.

The European Chief Prosecutor, who will head the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), will be appointed by common accord of the European Parliament and the Council.

The European Prosecutor’s Office, which is to become operational by the end of 2020, will be an independent and decentralised prosecution office of the European Union, with the competence to investigate, prosecute and bring to judgment crimes against the EU budget, such as fraud, corruption or serious cross-border VAT fraud.

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