Sacked JusMin: “Anghel Saligny” project has “many illegality issues”

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After being unexpectedly dismissed from the Justice Ministry over the allegedly unauthorizing the emergency ordinance on the “Anghel Saligny” Programme, Stelian Ion has warned that anytime the ministry’s opinion have not been met “unpleasant situations came up and some ended up in undersigning”.

That’s why I would be very careful with these notes in the government activity and with the opinions of the experts in the Justice Ministry”, Stelian Ion said in a press conference on Thursday.

He reiterated that the original draft of the “Anghel Saligny” Programme on assigning RON 50 billion to the local administration has never reached the Justice Ministry.

Stelian Ion said that several issues of constitutionality and illegality had been identified in the draft bill.

Asked what are these issues, Stelian Ion said there are matters related to the regime of the public property, to whom these projects are assigned, what are the legal conditions.

“Besides these, I was being asked something impossible, to give an opinion on a document that we did not have in the ministry. It is absurd (…) I think the real stake here was the internal competition in the National Liberal Party,” Stelian Ion argued.

Hints that chief prosecutors selection should be done by someone else

Justice Minister Stelian Ion also said that he had received suggestions that “it is not okay” for him to coordinate the selection of candidates for these chief prosecutor positions, as that should be done by someone else.

“I have started the selection procedure of candidates for these chief prosecutor positions. First of all, it is the long-standing vacant position of chief prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), there are other positions – section manager at DIICOT, section manager at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), all very important positions. I have received many suggestions over time that it is not right for a minister endorsed by USR [Save Romania Union], or me in particular, to be able to coordinate this activity and that I should not do it, someone else should do it for a preset outcome. There have been clear signals to that effect. I have not said these things clearly, but if things take place in a certain sequence of time and all these things are confirmed, we can draw conclusions,” said the ousted minister of Justice.

He added that the selection procedure should be transparent and that the institutions should have a dialogue.

“It is more about a particular party; it is about the way it is being discussed. I see this procedure as one that must be transparent, one in which the institutions must collaborate, conduct a dialogue, as far as the legal powers permit, and at the end of the procedure, there should be some proposals that should be accepted by the president, who is the one who has the last word, and to also have the endorsement of the Prosecution Section,” said Ion.

He told the magistrates to never accept any kind of political interference in their activity.

“My message to prosecutors is to be confident in their work, in their own strength, never to accept political suggestions of any kind in their work. We, the politicians, are compelled to provide all the support to magistrates; not just prosecutors, but also to the judges, to offer them what they need from a logistical point of view in order to carry out their activity independently and unbiasedly. That is why it is very important that at the budget revision, whoever the minister is, for justice spending to get what I have requested,” said Ion.

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