Former Chairman of the Constitutional Court (CCR), Augustin Zegrean, said on Thursday he was surprised that the reasoning of the decision in the case of the DNA chief, Laura Codruta Kovesi reads that the dismissal is at the discretion of the Minister of Justice.
“I am surprised that the reasoning of the decision reads that the dismissal is at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. We are in a constitutional regime, not in a discretionary regime. Nothing is at the discretion of no one, nobody does what he wants in this country and I am surprised that the CCR has made such reasoning; moreover, Article 109 of the Constitution, which they invoke here, has nothing to do with the minute they have pronounced,” Zegrean said, hotnews.ro informs.
He noted that if the head of state approves the appointment, he must also approve the withdrawal of the DNA chief prosecutor.
“The procedure for the appointment and dismissal of chief prosecutors is stipulated by the law, and this procedure reads that the proposal is made by the Minister of Justice, who needs a consultative opinion from the Prosecutor’s Section of the CSM. But in this case the CSM prosecutors unanimously gave a negative opinion on the reasons invoked in the Justice Minister’s request, pointing out that they are not likely to lead to the removal of the DNA chief prosecutor. The President is the one who orders it, because he is the one who signs. Until the President signs the appointment, the prosecutor does not take over the mandate (…) and if the President has approved the appointment, he must also approve the dismissal, so it is not right what they say, that the dismissal is at the discretion of the Justice Minister,” Zegrean said.
He added that the CCR judges should have mentioned a deadline for the President to sign the revocation decision, as such a deadline is not provided by law.
Furthermore, Augustin Zegrean said that, in his point of view, a minister cannot be in conflict with the President, the Government can.
“I see things the same as CCR judge Mircea Minea (who had a separate opinion). I also believe that the minister could not be in conflict with the President of Romania, it is about the Government. It could have been a conflict between the Government and the President. The minister is part of the Government, but he is not the Government,” Zegrean said.
The Constitutional Court of Romania published on its website on Thursday the reasoning of the ruling on a constitutional conflict between the Justice Ministry and the Presidency over dismissing the anti-corruption chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. The ruling also said that President Iohannis must sign the decree to recall Kovesi from office. The reasoning is encompassed in a 133-page document and was published by the Official Gazette Thursday evening.