Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, has announced on Saturday he is triggering the legal procedure of assessing the activity of the Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar.
“I am triggering the legal procedure to assess the activity conducted by the Prosecutor General upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice. Several weeks ago, I said that time comes for everyone to be assessed. I appreciated the Prosecutor General’s availability to declassify the Protocol signed in 2009. Lately we find out that actually a protocol signed in 2016 has been made public. (…) The assessment results will be made public in 30 days at the most,” Minister Tudorel Toader wrote on Facebook.
The announcement comes after the release to the public of the Protocol signed in 2016 between the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). One variant, not secret, was posted on the Public Ministry’s website, several hours later a secret variant was posted by Government adviser, Darius Valcov, on his Facebook page. Both were signed on the same day, in December 2016, before the elections.
Augustin Lazar: It is a false theme
Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar, has reacted on Saturday, saying that all issues regarding the protocols were known both by the Supreme Council of Magistracy and by the Justice Ministry. He added that he would make the correspondence public next week.
“The public opinion will learn that the theme of protocols is false,” the Prosecutor General said. “The mentioning of the protocols to the public, again and again, is obviously a new attack against the Public Ministry, during a period when important files for the society are on the way to being solved, i.e. the 1989 Revolution file and the File on the violent events on August 10/11, 2018,” Lazar said.
“The cooperation between the Public Ministry and the Romanian Intelligence Service was conducted based on the law, as the protocol is only a working procedure, of cooperation between institutions by the law. In this regard, I want to stress that all issues of interest on the protocols were communicated to the CSM and the Justice Ministry, next week we will make public the correspondence with these institututions,” Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar said in a message sent by the Prosecutor General’s Office representatives.
Tariceanu: Encouraging announcement
Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said on Saturday the statement made by the Justice Minister is encouraging.
“The presence and the infiltration of the parallel state into the judiciary are unacceptable. The secret protocols, the illegal and unconstitutional actions, the violation of fundamental liberties should cease. The justice reform must be conducted to the very end and we should return to the democratic control of the intelligence services,” Tariceanu wrote on his Facebook page.
PNL’s Orban: Toader acts on behalf of the felons leading Romania
PNL leader, Ludovic Orban, accuses Tudorel Toader of acting on behalf of the felons leading Romania, in order to oust Augustin Lazar.
“I am not aware of any reason for triggering this assessment. It is obvious Tudorel Toader is acting on behalf of the group of felons leading Romania, in order to oust any prosecutor daring to draw up files against men in power, against PSD and ALDE leaders. I believe the activity of the Prosecutor General does not raise any questions and in no way justifies the Justice Minister’s decision,” Orban said.
USR: A pretext to replace the Prosecutor General
Save Romania Union (USR) claims Minister Toader takes advantage of the issue of protocols in order to dismiss Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar and to propose a prosecutor that promptly answers any political order from Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
In a release on Saturday, the USR representatives say that, after the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi from the DNA top prosecutor position and after the replacement of the DIICOT chief prosecutor, Tudorel Toader wants to complete the mission received from PSD-ALDE to dismiss all chief prosecutors who have had, in the past years, good results in the fight against corruption.
“Dragnea wants to get rid of Augustin Lazar and to close down the file on the August 10 rally. PSD wants to hide the truth, as it did with the Revolution and the Miners’ riots, in order to save the leaders,” USD leader, Dan Barna, said.
Dacian Ciolos: Toader wants to lay pressure on the file on Gendarmerie’s violence
Former PM Dacian Ciolos, founding chairman of the Together Romania Movement (MRI) claims Toader wants to lay pressure on the file related to August 10 events.
“Under the pretext of assessing the Prosecutor General, which is the responsibility of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, Minister Tudorel Toader is trying to lay pressure on the file regarding the violence on August 10 and wants to behead the Prosecutor General’s Office (…) just because Augustin Lazar had opposite opinions to the minister in several cases,” Ciolos said.