Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has fired chief Prosecutor of Department on fight against corruption (DNA) Laura Kovesi, following the decision of the constitutional court.
“The decisions of the constitutional court must be implemented in a state that respects the rule of law. The President issued a decree on the removal of the chief Prosecutor from office,” the press Secretary of the President Madalina Dobrovolsky told reporters. It is reported by Reuters.
According to the President, regardless of the chief Prosecutor, the DNA is obliged to continue to work at the highest level.
In response Kovesi said: “Today’s episode is not a defeat – corruption can be defeated. Don’t give up the fight.” She also accused the ruling politicians of trying to block the functioning of the judiciary by softening criminal-related bills in Parliament, trying to defend against prosecution for “past, present and future” cases.
Kovesi said the court’s decision, which forced the President to fire her after the initial request from the Ministry of justice, “will leave a big question mark hanging: will the discretionary authority of prosecutors to the Ministry of justice”.
In recent years, prosecutors have over the past few years sought judicial decisions against legislators, Ministers and mayors, openly speaking of conflicts of interest, abuse of power, fraud and kickbacks in government contracts. Under the leadership Kovesi Management has been actively working to combat corruption. The European Union, which closely followed the efforts to combat corruption in Romania, praised the work of the DNA. The Council of Europe anti-corruption observer warned in April that government initiatives were threatening the rule of law in Romania. Last November, the head of the anti-corruption Department herself told Euronews that her office had been subjected to “incredible attacks” aimed at limiting its ability to conduct investigations.
The Minister of justice Tudorel Toader called for the dismissal Kovesi in February, stating that it had exceeded its authority and damaged the image of Romania abroad. The constitutional court of Romania may 30 ordered by President Klaus Iohannis to sign the decree about dismissal of chief Prosecutor of DNA Laura Codruta Kovesi. The court by a majority of votes recognized the existence of”a legal conflict of a constitutional nature between the government and the President Klaus Iohannis, provoked by the refusal of the head of state to dismiss the head of the DNA Laura Covesi.” In the end the President was forced to send Kovesi resign.