In a press statement held right after the Presidency announced her revocation, Laura Codruta Kovesi said that her mandate ends as of today, arguing the revocation decree raises a big question mark and urging her colleagues within the National Anti-corruption Directorate to continue the fight against corruption.
„All that I achieved or I didn’t achieve is recorded within a report. I remind you that the revocation proposal has not met the conditions stipulated by the law, the Superior Council of Magistracy has given a negative opinion. The revocation decree is leaving a big question mark. I have proved before the prosecutors section within CSM that the reasons invoked by the Justice Minister in his revocation proposal are partly not real, partially not true,” Kovesi stated in the press conference.
She wondered what’s going to be from now on. “Is there going to be a discretionary subordination of the prosecutors to the Justice minister? I won’t comment the CCR ruling, but I want to say that it suggests that prosecutors might be subordinated to the Justice minister in the future. That’s why I think a clarification is still needed,” she argued.
“Starting today, I will no longer work within the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA). I will remain prosecutor. I want to deliver a message to my colleagues: I thank you all for your courage and professionalism. I thank you for you have moved forward no matter how humiliated and attacked you, we all have been in front of the society, of our families, dragged in the mud, without the possibility to defend ourselves,” Kovesi told her colleagues, anti-corruption prosecutors who have attended the conference.
She argued that the DNA’s activity was all about defending the society from dangerous criminals and that the political will is to block the investigations and the judiciary.
„Dear colleagues, what we have managed to prove is that the public institutions in Romania are working legally and yes, corruption can be defeated. Today’s episode is not a defeat. The way they are forcing the amendment of the criminal laws proves they want protection. This fight is to defend society from dangerous criminals. We have seen what’s left from the criminal laws. It’s common sense to notice that the political will is to block investigation, to block the judiciary system,” Kovesi pointed out.
She told anti-corruption prosecutors to continue their job, while repeatedly asking them not to abandon the fight against corruption.
„DNA is a mature, professional institution. Don’t abandon, keep up doing your job, don’t give up. Corruption can be defeated, don’t abandon,” she concluded, while being applauded by the prosecutors attending the conference.
Who is taking over the interim position at DNA’s helm?
Romania’s Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar has released the decree that nominates Anca Jurma as interim DNA chief prosecutor.
“Mrs. Anca Jurma has had two mandates as chief prosecutor of the Service of international cooperation and programmes within the National Anti-corruption Directorate, and later on she was appointed adviser of the DNA chief prosecutor,” reads a press release by the General Prosecutor’s Office.
The Prosecutor General has also delivered “a message of confidence regarding the continuity of the anti-corruption activity”.
“The anti-corruption activity represents a priority of the Public Ministry, in carrying out its constitutional role. Within the judicial activity, the Public Ministry represents the general interests of the society and it defends the rule of law, as well as the rights and freedom of citizens,” the release further says.
According to the procedure, Romania’s Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar is the one who delegates a person to take the interim lead of a prosecutor’s office until a new head is appointed.
Previously in the day, there was information that the deputy head of the DNA, Marius Iacob will be the acting chief prosecutor.
According to the law, the proposal for a new DNA chief prosecutor comes from the Justice minister, it must get the CSM’s go-ahead and the actual appointment is made by the Romanian President.
Shortly after the revocation decree has been released in the Official Gazette and an interim head of DNA has been announced, the Justice Ministry informed that the selection procedure of prosecutors will be held during July 9-30, in the view of proposing a candidate for the vacant position of the DNA chief prosecutor.