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April 16, 2021

PG Lazar denies any employment ties to late Securitate political police, says his resignation would not be in society’s interest

Romania’s Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar said on Monday he is neither a commissioned, nor a non-commissioned officer or informer of the late Securitate political police or any other secret service.

He told a news conference that he wanted to make a series of remarks out of respect to his colleagues and to truth, a value he said has always guided his life and professional activity.

Lazar argued that he is not nervous about any verification to be carried out in the National Council for the Study of Securitatea Files (CNSAS) archives.

“Over the past few days, some news organisations have faulted me of facts that I have not done, labelled me so as to strip me of credibility as a person, a magistrate, as a Romanian. This is the first time in my life when something like this happens to me, and that is surprising even to a highly versed prosecutor with a long career. That is why I want to take this opportunity to say: I am neither a commissioned, nor a non-commissioned officer or informer of the late Securitate political police or any other secret service. I was drafted in the army and I am now a reservist military engineer of the Romanian Army,” said Lazar.

He also extended an official apology for the questionable practices under the late communist regime established by law but characterised by a weak ethical component.

“As head of the Public Prosecution Service, I would like to extend official apologies for the pre-1989 controversial practices established by law, but characterised by a weak ethical component. Personally, I wish to express my regret for the dramas and sufferings of the anticommunist fighters, to whom we owe us living today in a democratic country that is a member of the European Union,” Lazar said at a news conference.

He also  told that  journalists  he would not resign office because that would not be “in the interest of society,” adding that the big case files must be solved and the truth come out.

Asked at a news conference if he steps down, Lazar said, ‘Do you think that would be in the interest of society? What is the role of the Public Prosecution Service and the attorney general’s – is it not to represent the interests of the society? Need I represent the political interests of those who want to maneuver and exaggerate in this way? It [the resignation] would not be in the interest of society. And also I have taken on this procedure not to withdraw, but knowing that I have started some essential projects for the Public Prosecution Service, and we have made some accomplishments that others did not do before. Wouldn’t it be good for those achievements to continue? Wouldn’t it be good (…) for big case files to be solved and for truth to be brought to light?,” argued Lazar.

Asked if he had discussed with President Klaus Iohannis, Lazar said, “I did not have a discussion with the President.”

He added that he has nothing to hide.

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