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February 25, 2021

Tariceanu asks President Iohannis to urgently dismiss Prosecutor General: “Will we continue to tolerate Romania’s honest prosecutors being led by an accomplice of the Communist-Securitate regime?”

Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu asks President Klaus Iohannis to sign the decree dismissing Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar because the latter is among the characters “who sadly bring to mind the dirty games they played” for the former communist regime.

“Today, I ask you Mr President to get in your constitutional role as guarantor of democracy and urgently sign the decree dismissing from office the Prosecutor General, a request which, independently of the above mentioned facts, which do nothing else but worsen things, has already been sent by the Justice Minister. (…) It’s about the terrifying disclosures, according to which Romania’s Prosecutor General, a person who should be a model of ethics and conduct for the magistrates of this country, would have been among the characters who sadly bring to mind the dirty games they played for the former communist regime,” Tariceanu mentions in an open letter sent on Wednesday.

The Senate Speaker states that Augustin Lazar did not deny the facts but only tried to dodge his alleged responsibility in what concerns the persecution of dissident Iulius Filip, who was arrested, investigated, harassed, tortured and detained by the communist regime.

“Mr President, we know it well, Romania missed the historic chance of passing a lustration law in 1990, and missed the opportunity to implement Point no.8 of the Timisoara Proclamation, which would have prevented former Securitate and top-level communist party members from accessing high-level offices, and would have had a major contribution to normalising society. However, the fact that we missed this chance must not automatically entail that those who dodged the rigours of the law at the time have the right to become top-rank actors in serving justice. I tend to believe that the meaning of the ‘Call to scurvy knaves’ manifesto of the 1990s, written by one of your admirers, was different. I don’t want us to end up noting one day that the collapse of communism preserved intact – unfortunately – the right of our torturers’ children to end up being, in the meantime, the torturers of our children. Without firm attitudes, I’m afraid the denouement will be inevitable,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu went on to say.

Returning to “the shocking case of Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar,” Tariceanu claims that, against the backdrop of the facts presented by the media, it is required to urgently clarify whether Lazar was part of the group of communist prosecutors who graduated from the famous Bran School. “As known, starting in 1969, that school formed all prosecutors who were then used in implementing the directives of the communist party and of the Securitate in what concerned the investigation and brutal repression of all Romanian citizens who dared to dissent. A school which, using teachers from the Militia, the Securitate and the ‘Stefan Gheorghiu’ Academy, was training carefully-selected communist prosecutors to conduct “special” investigations based on torture, blackmail, hallucination-inducing substances, to turn a blind eye to the abuses committed by the Securitate’s investigators, to blackmail the judges who were not willing to “cooperate” sufficiently, to frame lawyers, to unconditionally accept the Securitate’s search or arrest warrants which were based on falsified evidence, and many such things. We recall that direct testimonies have appeared over the years regarding these odious practices,” Tariceanu added.

The Senate Speaker states that “unfortunately, these deeds continued to be carefully hidden after the fall of communism, with the significant contribution of the secret services, which helped form incomplete professional resumes in the case of many magistrates.”

He claims that that is the case of the incumbent Prosecutor General too, “whose professional resume was carefully whitewashed by his shadowy friends.”

“Mr Augustin Lazar, faced with the undeniable evidence, has recognised the role he played in the case of dissident Iulius Filip, but claims it was a minor role. Will we take his word for it? Will we let things be as they are? Will we continue to tolerate Romania’s honest prosecutors being led by an accomplice of the Communist-Securitate regime? I believe these are questions that can have but one answer. I am asking you today, Mr President, to enter your constitutional role as guarantor of democracy and urgently sign the decree dismissing from office the Prosecutor General. A request that, independently of the facts above, which only serve to worsen things, has already been transmitted to you by the Justice Minister. Today you have the opportunity to prove that the independence of the judiciary – which you proclaim every day – is not just an electoral slogan but a principle in which you truly believe,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu concludes.

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