Amid the Romanian magistrates’ protest against the recent Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO 7) amending the justice laws, the General Prosecutor’s Office presented its activity report for last year in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis.
Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, eyed by the current ruling PSD-ALDE coalition to be toppled down, has told the balance sheet meeting on Wednesday that pressures had been put over judiciary bodies last year, especially over prosecutor’s offices, underlining that by ignoring the stance of the Prosecutor’s Office upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice amendments regarding the prosecutors’ career had been operated.
In his turn, President Iohannis stated that prosecutors have a tough mission, as people under criminal investigations want to legislate on judiciary, while the attacks against magistrates have become more and more virulent.
The prosecutors from the General Prosecutor’s Office attending the balance sheet meeting were wearing white armlets in protest against GEO 7.
„I want to congratulate you for your work during the past year. 2018 was full of many challenges with the justice related topics making the headlines due to the obsessive persistence of the current ruling coalition to politically interfere (…) The Public Ministry’s mission has not been quite easy, the more the attacks against prosecutors have become more and more virulent in the past years (...),” the Romanian president argued.
Iohannis warned over the MPs option „to ignore the Venice Commission recommendations on the CVM report and the ones of magistrates”.
„The Government insists on abusively using emergency ordinances, which produces serious and deep effects inside the justice system. Affecting the prosecutor and the judge, the attempt of politically controlling prosecutor’s offices, the intentions to increase the powers of the Special section investigating magistrates”.
He concluded that prosecutors’ voice must be listened especially when their mission is jeopardized. „Romanians want a better country. They need the safety provided by the law, regardless of positions, social status or financial strength. Romanians want a country without corruption”, the head of state said.
PG Lazar: Under the pretext of abuse disclosure, a smear campaign was promoted against justice
In his turn, Prosecuror General, Augustin Lazăr, told the activity report meeting that under the pretext of revealing the alleged abuses by prosecutors, an agile smear campaign was promoted in the media against the prestige of the judiciary.
He underlined that questionable conducts of some isolated prosecutor cases had been extrapolated over the entire magistrates’ corps.
Lazar further criticised that 2018 was the year when huge pressures had been put on the judiciary bodies, particularly over prosecutor’s offices, and when the political factor has insisted and succeeded in dismissing the DNA chief prosecutor.
The PG also mentioned „the avalanche” of the amendments on the justice laws, arguing the proposals made by the General Prosecutor’s Office had been ignored by the Parliament.
White armlets against GEO 7
Prosecutors of the Public Ministry attending the meeting were wearing white armlets in protest for the GEO 7.
„It is a symbol of our protest, you know the reasons. We’ll see about how much the protest will last. We also consider other forms of protest, including suspending our activity. Suspending activity is not illegal, it is a form of protest allowed by the law”, said Romulus Varga, the chief prosecutor of the Criminal prosecution and Homicide section within the Public Ministry.
On the other hand, the president of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court), Cristina Tarcea has told the balance sheet meeting that she had “a dream” where she met the impostor, saying impostor will never look down on the trampled, even if it may not be a person, but an entire system. Tarcea added that the impostor hates correct people and is usually accusing with the deeds that he had committed himself.
Tarcea began her speech by stating the she feels “confused” and “puzzled” as last year, at the same event, she thought she was attending the activity report of some magistrates, but instead she was “castigated with proletarian anger” for this.
“The impostor is looking into your eyes when it comes to assets, privileges and positions, as if he would have followed the rules, but he won’t dare to look into your face when, taking advantage of the assets, privileges and positions, is trampling you for having the guts to obey the rules”, the head of the Supreme Court said.