Kovesi’s counter candidate for EU Prosecutor job says he is not withdrawing

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A Romanian media report on Friday said Jean-François Bohnert had “virtually withdrawn” from the race as he was poised to take another senior job in France, leaving Kövesi as the sole candidate for the EU Prosecutor. But, contacted by telephone about the report, Bohnert said he is still a candidate, politico.eu reports.

A spokesperson for the French diplomatic mission to the EU said Sunday night that “at this stage, nothing has changed” in the country’s position.

In the interview in Reims, Bohnert said he was “a little bit sad” to read tweets calling on him to be an homme d’honneur and step out of the race. It’s not something he ever considered, he said, adding that German prosecutors offered him support at a recent conference.

“A lot of people are supporting me and they know I have experience to bring in setting up new bodies,” Bohnert said. “I cannot give up because a lot of people would not understand.”

He enthusiastically listed his experience of managing prosecutors in France, as well as his work on the development of new systems of European judicial cooperation, first in Germany as a liaison magistrate and later in the Netherlands as a French delegate to Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation unit.

Bohnert said becoming the EU’s first public prosecutor would mean doing on a much bigger scale a job that he does already: overseeing and guiding the work of prosecutors. The EU chief prosecutor “has to lead and to give direction,” he said.

French Prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert will be appointed to head the French Financial Prosecutor’s Office, a position for which he was heard on Thursday, July 11. Jean-François Bohnert is virtually retired from the race by France, rfi.ro informed on Friday.

Bohnert and Laura Codruta Kovesi were the two candidates for the top position of the European Prosecutor’s Office, both of them being supported by a European institution (European Parliament and the European Council).

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