DNA head: The perception that we rely heavily on SRI is wrong

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Only 0.55% of the files recorded with the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) have been opened this year as a result of complaints received from Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Laura Codruta Kovesi, the DNA chief, said Thursday evening for Digi24 TV.
“In terms of perception that we rely heavily on SRI, I hope to disappoint those who say this, not because I want to, but because statistics show it. Out of 4,200 files registered with DNA, only 24 files were opened this year as a result of complaints received from SRI,” said the DNA chief prosecutor.
“We rely on citizens. More than 87 percent of DNA files opened this year are a result of complaints received from individuals and legal entities. Finally, we rely on state institutions with control attributions,” she said.
“The collaboration with SRI also seeks other issues. For example, stakeout activities. We do not have enough staff to carry out this work, which involves large human and material resources,” said the DNA chief prosecutor.

It’s not normal for a defrauded public institution not be a civil party

Kovesi said that it is not normal, if there are suspicions a public institution has been defrauded, that it does not become a civil party. Asked in a broadcast on Digi24 TV, what she thinks about the fact that CE Oltenia was not a civil party in the file in which Victor Ponta and Laurentiu-Dan Ciurel, President of CE Oltenia, were prosecuted, Kovesi said that is not normal situation.
“The prosecutor handling the file has fulfilled his duty to inquire whether the company wants to become a civil party or not. It is not normal if you are suspicious that a public institution was defrauded, for the public institution not to participate as a civil party in the criminal proceedings. (…) The state could be harmed by such inactivity in this file,” said Kovesi.

Oprescu’s prosecution will be completed soon

The DNA chief also said that the file Sorin Oprescu is investigated in, the prosecution for certain offenses will be completed soon, as this is a classic case of corruption deeds.
“From the DNA point of view, it is not an extraordinarily complex file or a file that cannot be managed by the case prosecutor. This is a file involving classical corruption deeds. I think the investigation for certain offenses will be completed soon, depending on how the evidence is managed,” said Laura Codruta Kovesi.

The Tax Administration should have seized EUR 310m

The National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF) should have confiscated up to EUR 310 million following final court decisions in criminal cases prosecuted by DNA, yet nothing has been done to collect this money in the past eight months, DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi said.
“DNA is not the institution that should actually confiscate this money. Our obligation when investigating is to identify the money and the assets, then sequester it. Practically, we put them on a tray, then we offer the tray to the ANAF, to the Finances Ministry, when the court decision is final, and the ANAF should actually enforce these court sentences. I pointed out at the beginning of the year that in the DNA files only, the sum to be seized by the state was EUR 310 million. (…) Nothing has happened in the past eight months and I wonder if the procedure that applies to the individuals who do not pay their taxes or duties could not be also applied to these people definitively sentenced,” Kovesi said.
In her opinion, the relevant authorities did not show any intention to recover the damages, despite the effort by the prosecutors and justices in this respect.
“We don’t see, at least in the past two years we have seen no proactivity in attempting to execute these assets. (…) The state sits on a pile of final court decisions with several liens and doesn’t enforce them,” said Kovesi.
She added that after the signal she has triggered at the beginning of this year, she was contacted by representatives of the Justice and Public Finances ministries, to whom she sent propositions to improve things, and she participated in debates and seminar, sent point of view, yet until now nothing has changed as regards the recovery of damages.
“I hope things will move, because this year too we have frozen so far money and assets amounting to nearly EUR 190 million. (…) These figures keep piling up and I believe there should be a zero moment when the state commences to enforce the execution of these sums and to collect this money to the state budget. If the Public Finances Ministry cannot cope with it, then it could hand over this attribution to the institutions of the judiciary system able to do that,” the chief anticorruption prosecutor concluded.

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