President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that the CSAT meeting looked into reports from the Interior Ministry (MAI) and the Special Telecommunications System (STS) on the Caracal case, adding that the citizens must regain their confidence in the state by definitively eliminating from the system those who do not do their job.
Iohannis stated after the meeting that the STS and MAI’s reports on the Caracal case, presented during the CSAT meeting, point to grave deficiencies, including a dismissive attitude that police workers showed toward the victim, the President calling the delays “criminal.”
“I asked the relevant institutions to present within the CSAT a full investigation regarding the Caracal case. The information included in the reports reflect a series of grave deficiencies, such as:
“- unjustified delays in starting the investigations; even though the victim was reported missing on July 24, 8.30 p.m., [the investigations] started in the morning of July 25, at 8.30 a.m.;
“- failure to observe internal procedures regarding the reporting and monitoring of events and aspects of operational interest, failure to observe the working methodology on the triggering and functioning of the “Child Abduction Alert” national mechanism, as well as the protocol of cooperation between the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice regarding the triggering and functioning of the “Child Abduction Alert” national mechanism;
“- the Police workers’ dismissive attitude toward the victim, the said workers not getting involved in obtaining information that would have allowed them to identify her location;
“- problems pertaining to the system and to inter-institutional cooperation, starting with the way the operators of the Single National System for Emergency Calls interact with callers, against the backdrop of the former’s deficient training and of a procedure that does not sort calls based on their gravity;
“- the lack of equipment, namely both means of transport, communications, and IT equipment;
“-the deficient size of the operational structures and their inadequate staffing with specialists, as well as their lack of continuous training,” Klaus Iohannis said.
The Head of State says that “appointments in leadership positions, made on the basis of political criteria, not professional competence criteria, have represented one of the main causes behind the deprofessionalisation of institutions.”
Regaining confidence in institutions by eliminating those who do not do their job
“The citizens must regain confidence in the state and in its institutions, to feel protected in their own country, and a first mandatory step is definitive elimination from the system of those who do not carry out this duty,” said Iohannis.
He added that the drama in Caracal, where a hitch-hiking teenage girl was reportedly kidnapped, raped and murdered as the authorities took a long time to act on her emergency calls, “shows us where the state with its institutions is headed for when the rescue and protection of criminals is set above all and when opening the gates to prisons becomes the care of the political decision makers.”
“The changes in justice legislation, the surge in retirements from the public order and national security system, the compensatory appeal, all this has created serious vulnerabilities to national security, with the most dramatic effects for the safety of the people. We have arrived here because the last years’ governments have filled the country with incompetent people in public positions; they have fired too many professionals and replaced them with yes-men, incompetent people,” added Iohannis.
He added that the utmost priority of the political class must be to guarantee the safety of the citizens.
“Corruption and incompetence destroy the state, sucking professionalism out of public bodies. Ensuring the safety of the citizens must be utmost priority of the entire political class. The right to life is the most important human right and it is obligatory for the entire process of mending the laws and institutions destroyed in recent years by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) government to start from here,” said Iohannis.
Head of State asks Gov’t to develop rapid response measures, procedures by late August
He announced on Tuesday having asked the government to come by the end of August up with measures, rules and procedures for a rapid and conjugated response of all the institutions involved, so as to eliminate delays as in the Caracal case, as well as to conduct an urgent analysis of the legislation on serious and very serious crimes.
“The very serious analysis done during the CSAT meeting found that the institutions with responsibilities in the area of citizen’s security have failed, after a long series of unacceptable errors, to ensure a fundamental right provided by the Romanian Constitution – the right to life and the right to physical and mental integrity (…) I asked the Romanian Government to develop, by the end of August, a series of measures, norms and procedures for a rapid and conjugated reaction of all the institutions involved, including prosecutors, so that in situations such as that of Caracal that there should be no criminal delays in the actions of the state bodies. We also asked the government to urgently analyse the current legislation of serious and very serious crimes against persons, especially where life, freedom are and bodily integrity are affected; to identify ways to optimise location, by implementing the transmission by short text messages of the geographical coordinates of devices, as well as to analyse the situation of the current 112 Emergency Number System. At today’s meeting, we asked for strict procedures regarding how those responding to 112 must offer support to those in need,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He said that these days he consulted with public safety and justice specialists to develop concrete solutions, noting that his executive powers are limited only to within CSAT and that he will pass on the solutions he suggests to all institutions for such tragedies to be prevented.
Iohannis underscored that appointments to management positions following political criteria instead of professional competence criteria are one of the leading causes of the public bodies being deprived of professionalism.
Decision to release STS director Vasilca from office issued by CSAT
Romania’s Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) meeting issued on Tuesday the decision to release Director of the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) Ionel Vasilca from office, President Klaus Iohannis announced.
“Today, the CSAT meeting issued the decision to release Mr Vasilca from office as director of the Special Telecommunications Service,” the head of state stated at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He mentioned that he requested the STS for careful and serious control over its procedures, in order to identify solutions for a better functioning.
“Professionalism, competence and seriousness are needed, because we are talking about huge responsibilities. The people at the helm of these institutions should be respected for their professional approach and for their democratic orientation. The Romanian state has such experts and our role is to give them the opportunity to work at the highest level. It’s important that the Romanian professionals in the state system, regardless of their positions, be encouraged to do their job and be kept away from the political stakes disputes,” Iohannis added.
The STS Director announced on Monday that he tendered his resignation. He mentioned, in a release sent to AGERPRES that he resigned “so he doesn’t damage the institution’s reputation.”
“I want to clarify that my resignation was not filed because of the existence of a failure, inadvertence or as a result of the slightest shadow of guilt in exercising the function to takeover and localise the 112 emergency calls by the STS, my dereliction of duty, the superficial handling or lack of responsibility regarding my duty and that of all the employees to guarantee the continuous operation of the special services, to cooperate and those on the 112 line,” Vasilca mentioned.