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DNA chief Kovesi warns amendments to justice laws would have serious consequences. Row at CSM sitting over her presence at the GDS debates

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) chief Laura Codruta Kovesi claims she has no ‘plan C’ if dismissed from office and she will do her duty till the last day. On the other hand Kovesi warned that the amendments of the justice laws would have serious consequences and would affect justice independence.

During a debate organised by the Group for Social Dialogue (GDS) on Tuesday, Kovesi said she and her colleagues are ‘under assault’ for the past year and a half.

“I believe we are all aware of the seriousness of the current situation. We, as institution, me and my colleagues, can react only by the means we have. We all feel that, during the past year and a half, we are under assault through intimidations, harassment, fake-news to which we can react only institutionally,” Kovesi said according to stiritvr.ro.

“We cannot initiate laws, we can only express points of view. We can analyse the draft bills, we can identify vulnerabilities, identify the risks and explain the consequences. We can draw the alarm signal and say if the Romanian state wants us to investigate only small crimes and adopts laws in this regard… If the state does not want the ministers, state secretaries and other politicians to be investigated because  the Justice Minister is their colleague and may direct the judicial inspectorate to the prosecutor, yes, we may speak about such issues but that is all we can do,” Kovesi said.

The DNA chief added that by increasing the minister’s powers, the justice independence will be affected.

“There are three issues in the draft laws which, if adopted, will affect the prosecutors’ independence: the subordination of the Judicial Inspectorate to the Justice Minister, the amending of conditions regarding the magistrates’ material liability and the setting up of a special directorate to investigate the magistrates,” Kovesi said.

Judge wants to notify the Judicial Inspectorate regarding Kovesi’s presence to the GDS debates, CSM rejects request

The Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) has rejected on Wednesday the demand from Judge Gabriela Baltag to supplement the agenda for discussing a possible request to the Judicial Inspectorate to verify whether the presence of the DNA Chief Prosecutor and of other magistrates to the debates organized by the GDS, in which issues of “political nature” were discussed.

Judge Gabriela Baltag has requested on Wednesday, during the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) sitting, the notification of the Judicial Inspectorate in order to check if the presence of DNA chief prosecutor and of other prosecutors at the GDS debates, to attend political discussions, is in line with her statute.

“I’ve seen the sitting, I’ve seen that some magistrates attended the sitting. I have to admit I’ve seen the last part. I would like to bring up the issue of conducting checks by the Judicial Inspectorate regarding what I have seen. Many magistrates have asked me how we can tolerate this, that the DNA chief and other magistrates attend such sitting. The Judicial Inspectorate should conduct checks on the participation to political discussions, regarding protests in the street, unifying the opposition forces and censure, I don’t know if this is in line with the obligations and rigours of a magistrate,” Judge Baltag said.

Judge Andreea Chiş replied by saying that all CSM members had been invited to the debate.

“All CSM members were invited to attend the debate. I have informed you, Madam President (Mariana Ghena, chairman of the CSM), that I intend to participate in this debate. The recording reveals that the members of the Special Commission who drafted the draft normative act were also invited, but they did not come. The Minister of Justice was also invited, but he did not come. (…) I have not violated the profession of magistrate, I am not afraid of any Judicial Inspectorate investigation,” Andreea Chiş said.

 

About Valeriu Lazar