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February 27, 2020

Toader: Justice Ministry to resume selection of prosecutor general after rejecting four bids

The Justice Ministry is to resume the selection procedure for bids to the position of Romania’s prosecutor general, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader confirmed to Agerpres  on Wednesday.

The decision was made after the selection board chaired by Toader rejected the four candidates who had filed bids: Augustin Lazar, Marian Drilea, Gabriela Scutea and Daniel Horodniceanu.

There have been some problems ever since the beginning of the procedure.

Three candidates, Daniel Horodniceanu, Gabriela Scutea and Marian Drilea, filed incomplete bids with the Justice Ministry, but they were given a few days to bring the missing documents.

During the interviews held at the Justice Ministry’s headquarters on Wednesday, Toader had an argument with Lazar, reproaching him of his professional background.

“Both I and you were prosecutors before 1989 [under the communist regime], but we were at the beginning of our careers, we were very young and we were trying to figure out what the institution was doing. Certainly, some young prosecutors were only respecting the legal framework,” Lazar replied.

“Anyone can take a look into my professional past,” Toader said, while Lazar replied, “And into mine!”

Another candidate, Marian Drilea, argued that there is no external interference with the activity of the Magistrates’ Investigation Section, pointing out that material and personnel resources should be allocated for the proper operation of the section.

“I will refer to the Justice Crime Investigation Section because it is a newly established section that has sparked controversy. First of all, I have to emphasise the legal safeguards that are offered by setting up this section, because it is made up of the prosecutors appointed by the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), and I do not think there is any interference from other external forces of any kind on the part of other bodies or authorities. Because magistrates cannot be above the law and they have to answer for crimes, I believe that as long as the Constitutional Court has validated the establishment of this section, it will have to be propped up with the necessary staff and material resources in order to be able to operate under the best circumstances,” Drilea told the selection board.

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