The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors express disagreement with the report presented by the Minister of Justice, which concludes with the decision to start procedures to dismiss Laura Codruta Kovesi.
In a message sent to ziare.com, 135 of the 183 DNA prosecutors claim that Kovesi is the target of ‘the defendants and convicts for corruption deeds’, a message called as ‘a request to defend the professional reputation and the independence of the DNA prosecutors.’
“We, the DNA prosecutors, express our disagreement with the Justice Minister’s steps to propose the dismissal of Mrs. Laura Codruta Kovesi, DNA chief prosecutor, and we blow the whistle on the dim prospects in regard to justice independence and on the future of the fight against corruption,” the message reads.
They say the campaign to remove the DNA chief from the leadership of the institution was the main purpose of the “defendants and convicts for corruption deeds”: “During this period, the main target was Laura Codruta Kovesi, in the minds of the defendants or convicts for her removal being identified as the main means of destabilizing and decreasing the anti-corruption fight. We do not believe we are far from the truth.”
“As the Justice Minister said, the fight against corruption is not just one person, nevertheless, we cannot accept, as free citizens of Romania and law professionals, to witness a request for dismissal full of untruths, based on suppositions and information from the media, without being checked and without a thorough analysis. The sole purpose is to remove Laura Codruta Kovesi for her only guilt to have succeeded to manage this institution we are part of, with lots of courage, tact and highly regarded performances by Romanians, as well as by the European and international community,” the 135 prosecutors say.
They also complain about the denigration of prosecutors by public policy statements: “We have surprisingly found that people holding public dignities have launched unfounded accusations at the level of the entire professional body of DNA prosecutors, in what we consider a systematic attempt to discredit the whole activity in recent years.”
Therefore, the signatories of the joint message announce that they have asked the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) “to take notice that all of these statements, some of which are very serious, are unfounded, being made only in order to professionally discredit us, to induce the idea among the public opinion that the DNA prosecutors are abusive, unprofessional, lacking any ethics.”
“Let’s all imagine that this approach by the Minister of Justice would reach its goal and, next week or in two weeks’ time, Laura Codruta Kovesi would be dismissed. How could we continue to do what we do, how could we target the persons involved in corruption when we know that, based on the logic of the Minister of Justice, we may at any time be unfairly and wrongly charged for our investigations, for offenses of opinion or for the reason that Romania’s image abroad is affected by the phenomenon of corruption?,” the prosecutors conclude.