Social Democratic Party (PSD) Spokeswoman Lia Olguta Vasilescu has called for Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar to “immediately” resign and publicly apologise because he has held this high-level office within the Romanian judicial system even though he carried out actions of “political police” during the communist regime.
“To refuse the legal release of a person, because they criticised the repressive policy of the Communist Party, that is called political police. That is what Augustin Lazar did when he was head of that parole commission at the Aiud Penitentiary, dealing with political dissidents. We do not need a certificate from the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives (CNSAS) to establish this,” PSD Spokeswoman Olguta Vasilescu has pointed out in a press release.
Olguta Vasilescu claims that, thirty years since the fall of communism, “Romania finds itself in the outrageous situation in which the prosecutor who has the highest rank in the judicial system was the communist regime’s political police agent.”
“As a result of the revelations regarding his past, each day in which Augustin Lazar holds the office of Romanian Prosecutor General is a grave infringement upon democratic values and an intolerable offence for all anti-communist dissidents and for all those who fought in the Revolution. Hence, I am calling on him to immediately vacate his office and apologise to those to whom he caused suffering during the communist era,” Vasilescu stated.
The PSD Spokeswoman claims that, if Augustin Lazar refuses to resign, then “President Iohannis will have to act immediately, in the sense of dismissing him from office.”
“The dismissal proposal is on his table. He can sign the decree just this day, to remove this shameful blemish from the Romanian judiciary. We may assume that he did not known Augustin Lazar’s murky past. But from now on he no longer has any excuse. If he does not dismiss him, he becomes an accomplice, and he will get his hands and conscience dirty with the sins of this prosecutor of the communist political police. Let us not forget that the only prosecutor invited to address the European Court of Human Rights was, paradoxically, the torturer Augustin Lazar, who trampled the fundamental rights of a political dissident. What a slap for Romania and Europe!”, Lia Olguta Vasilescu added.
Luju.ro has written that Augustin Lazar “refused, on two occasions, to release Iulius Filip, an anti-communist dissident.” “In the 1980s, after he sent a pamphlet to Nicolae Ceausescu and expressed his support for Poland’s ‘Solidarity’ anti-communist movement, Iulius Filip was investigated and arrested on several occasions. (…) In the end, he was convicted to five years and four months in prison, executory sentence, for ‘propaganda against the socialist order,’” the mentioned source writes. Luju.ro claims that Iulius Filip applied for parole on two occasions, his request being denied by a commission led by prosecutor Augustin Lazar.
In reply, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar has pointed out that from 1985 to 1986 he was criminal prosecutor at the Alba Iulia Prosecutor’s Office and periodically worked as a member of the Aiud Penitentiary’s parole commission, which was examining the cases of convicts who had served the amount of time required to qualify for parole. He underscored that this commission was not ordering the release of convicts, it was only verifying whether the technical requirements for parole were met.
He added that the prison sentences were carried out on the grounds of warrants issued based on final prison sentences, and the parole commission’s minutes were sent to the competent court, the convicted persons being able to turn to the court in case the commission came up with negative findings too.