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New acting anti-corruption head Jurma: DNA must remain a strong, independent and relevant institution

Justice Minister discusses delegated prosecutors issue with the acting DNA chief prosecutor, Romania’s Prosecutor General

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader has met the acting chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Anca Jurma (photo), on Tuesday, to talk, among others, about the assignments in the directorate. The meeting was also attended by Romania’s Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar.

PG Lazar said after the meeting that there is a deficit of 450 prosecutors within the Public Ministry and that’s why he had to delegate several prosecutors.

This circumstance forced us to delegate prosecutors who should temporarily take over those positions and offices within the Public Ministry. After the staff regulation is approved by the Justice Ministry we’ll be able to start the procedure for the prosecutors’ tenure. Any public suspicion over the fact that certain prosecutors are not holders of their positions will end,” said Prosecutor General, while reiterating the idea that delegations have been made by the law.

PG Augustin Lazar has ordered on Monday that six prosecutors within DNA should end their delegation mandate, for they didn’t meet the minimum 8-year seniority condition.

In her turn, acting DNA chief prosecutor, Anca Jurma, has stated after talking to the Justice minister that there is no legality matter regarding delegations within DNA, also announcing that procedures to appoint prosecutors in management positions will soon kick off.

The prosecutors’ delegation has been under the law. I found these prosecutors at DNA when I took the interim office, if we talk about the young prosecutors, who had 6 to 8 years on the job. Most of them are judiciary prosecutors, who go to court hearings. It was a punctual need to fill in those positions, for we could not afford having uncovered court rooms. Those delegations were needed, for appointing procedures are lengthier. Delegations are legal, I don’t understand the fuss about this situation,” Anca Jurma explained.

DNA has announced on Monday that all prosecutors appointed to senior management within the directorate meet the legal conditions. There are 43 delegated prosecutors at DNA, 12 prosecutors delegated from other prosecutor’s offices, 26 prosecutors appointed to senior management, with three of them delegated from other prosecutors offices. Two anti-corruption prosecutors are assigned to other prosecutor’s offices.

Assignments are based on article 57 of law 303/2004, and they were ordered by the chief prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Justice Minister Toader is officially on annual leave from August 6 to August 17, so he is interrupting his vacation for this meeting.

Asked before the meeting what he thinks about President Iohannis’ potentially being charged with high treason, Toader said he cannot comment that “for it’s prosecutors’ business, not a minister’s”.

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