PSD postpones Executive Committee sitting to let the scandal about Augustin Lazar’s file stay in the focus. Justice Minister expected to release document

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PSD’s deputy Secretary General, Codrin Stefanescu, has said on Tuesday that the party has agreed to postpone the Executive Committee regarding the Government reshuffling by one week, because there days there is a scandal ‘as high as Carpathians Mountains’ regarding the candidacy file of Augustin Lazar for the position of Prosecutor General.

“This is a strategic delay. It has nothing to do with the rumours on tensions within the coalition, not with the so-called putschists in the party. The coalition is exceptionally well, confirmed also by Mr. Tariceanu and by us in the past 24 hours. The assessments on ministries are completed. The delay is only a week, mainly because we are in the middle of an incredible scandal regarding the candidacy file of Augustin Lazar for the Prosecutor General office and the promised disclosures from Justice Minister. We believe we should not monopolize the attention in such moments and we can postpone by one week the Executive Committee sitting,” Codrin Stefanescu said on Tuesday.

He added that Minister Toader is expected to reveal the document and the scandal “is as high as Carpathians Mountains. President Iohannis is quiet in the past seven days. Ciolos is quiet and Pruna the same. We were told we are a party of ‘offenders’, ‘the red plague’ and that President Iohannis had never been criminally investigated and there’s no document in this regard. We find out he was investigated in nine files closed when Mr. Lazar was chief (Alba Iulia Prosecutor General – our note) and there’s no document on the issue, then we’ve found that one of them was in the candidacy file of Mr. Lazar when he ran against Codrut Olaru and Oana Schmidt Haineala for the Prosecutor General of Romania position. These issues are to be made public by the parties involved are a very important topic for Romanians and thus we’ve decided to delay our internal discussion,” Stefanescu said.

Minister Toader presented last Wednesday an assessment report of Lazar’s activity as Prosecutor General, containing 20 reasons to have him revoked. Above all, Toader claimed that Lazar has been named by President Iohannis without a preliminary evaluation, upon the proposal of the then Justice Minister, Raluca Pruna. Moreover, the Justice Minister argued the file proposing Lazar included a resolution to close a file that targeted President Iohannis.

“President Iohannis signed the appointment in the PG seat on April 27, 2016, without having the evaluation of his professional performance criteria. So, it means the Justice Minister back then has made the proposal for the PG position without observing the legal procedures and criteria. The Romanian President did not check the legality of the evaluation (…) Why the Justice Minister at that time has sent the incomplete file? (…) we don’t think the appointment has to do something with one of the documents attached to the candidature file where there is a resolution issued by Lazar for dismissal of one cases related to the incumbent Romania’s President,” Toader said.

Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar said Wednesday evening that the evaluation report is actually the answer of the Executive to the Venice Commission’s opinion.

The Prosecutor General said that Toader’s approach, which runs against the Judicial Inspectorate and CSM analyses, is likely to destabilize the Public Ministry.

Last week, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader promised he would make public the resolution signed by Augustin Lazar to dismiss a file on Klaus Iohannis.

Later on Monday he promised to reveal the file on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow I will reveal the procedure and the appointment graphics of the current Prosecutor General. Tomorrow I will make public the content of the candidacy file. In order to notice the possible inconsistencies, it would be preferable to know the content of the file on which the investiture decree was based in order to be approved and signed. Usually, the Justice Ministry files, the ones from the Superior Council of Magistracy and from Cotroceni Palace have identical contents,” Minister Toader wrote on Facebook on Monday.

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