President Klaus Iohannis has been fined by RON 2,000 on by the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) on Wednesday for his public remarks when he used the word “criminals”.
In retort, the head of state announced he would challenge the CNCD decision, saying the action is political.
“Romania’s President considers this is a political decision and will challenge the CNCD decision in court,” says a press release by the Presidency.
CNCD had officially announced that “using the term <criminals> by the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, represents discrimination and breaks the right for dignity of the people whose cases are pending in court without being sentenced, according to article 2, line 1 and article 15 from the GO 137/2000”.
The Council has decided to apply the fine by 5 votes to 4.
At the same time, CNCD has unanimously established that DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi’s term when mentioning “the defendants’ festival” doesn’t go beyond the freedom of speech, according to the ECHR case law”.
The Council recommends both officials to avoid wording meant to affect the right for dignity of the criminally investigated people who have no final sentences pronounced against them.
President Klaus Iohannis stated in mid-February that he had a meeting with PM Viorica Dancila and PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea, with one of the topics of discussion being also the justice. “We have a scandal in the public space and I think that a lot of people expect me to voice my opinion. Things can be resumed to few words: some criminals are desperately trying to discredit DNA, the directorate’s leadership. In my opinion, it’s a pathetic and unconvincing attempt, and you know my stance, DNA and the DNA leadership is doing a very good job, and this attack attempt confirms the fact that DNA is doing a great job”, Iohannis stated while attending the DNA 2017 activity report.
In her turn, anti-corruption chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi used in her speech the term “the defendants’ festival” when referring to the people who attack the judiciary.