President Iohannis asks DIICOT chief to resign over Caracal case, hints to censure motion’s success

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Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has asked the chief prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Felix Bănilă “to resign immediately”.

“Considering the people’s legitimate expectation to be defended, it is outrageous the way some public institutions have reacted in the Caracal and Dambovita murder cases. What has happened in the past days it is an example for <so don’t>. It is extremely serious that those running institutions of the Romanian state are vouching such conducts through which potential criminals are treated with kid gloves while victims are treated with toughness and aggression. This situation is mainly prompted by the failure of the incompetent ruling in the past years, a ruling whose main target was to save criminals.”

Klaus Iohannis argued that the investigation conducted by DIICOT in the Caracal case is generating major red flags.

“The way things have unfolded so far is just generating more suspicions and is emphasizing the people’s lack of trust in the authorities and such an approach can only lead to bad results.

Therefore, I ask Mr. Felix Bănila to resign immediately from the position of DIICOT chief prosecutor,” Iohannis said.

The head of state stressed that it is mandatory that “the mistakes in the past weeks to be assumed with responsibility” , adding that “a change is needed to make this institution credible again”.

The head of state has also resumed criticism against the PM and the Government.

“I remind the premier that her main duty is to solve the current, immediate problems and not to pay foreign electoral tours that bring no benefits to Romania. This incompetent government has lost its majority. The natural solution is the resignation of a disastrous Cabinet. However, we cannot expect PSD to act responsibly. The proper functioning of the institutions cannot be affected anymore by the lack of professionalism of their chiefs. Fundamental institutions of the state have serious credibility issues due to the politicisation. The reconstruction process of the state must start with the restoration of the administration. This must be done by a new government. I can’t wait for the motion to pass!“, Klaus Iohannis concluded.

DIICOT Head retorts

Following President Iohannis’s call to resign, DIICOT Head Felix Bănilă said in a press release that he won’t step down, but he will analyse the situation seriously and will consult with his colleagues and his chief. However, he underlined that the DIICOT’s activity is not confined to Caracal case and the resignation cannot be the expression of “a mere urge”.

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