Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar, reveals correspondence with Justice Minister: ‘The truth about this embarrassing manipulation’

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Prosecutor General, Augustin Lazar, has revealed on Monday, during a press statement, the correspondence between the Public Ministry and the Justice Ministry on the topic of protocols with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), saying ‘let’s see what the truth is about this embarrassing manipulation’.

The first document reveals that the Justice Ministry requested the Public Ministry to inform “if and how many protocols were concluded with SRI, the date and the signatories, and to start the declassification procedure.”

Augustin Lazar showed all the documents sent to the Justice Ministry, whereby the Public Ministry informed about the protocols, including the one with SRI, as well as the answers from Minister Tudorel Toader, which reveal that he was aware of the documents received from the Public Ministry, ziare.com informs.

Consequently, the Prosecutor General argues that the Justice Minister was aware since March of the protocols between the Public Ministry and SRI.

“He can’t say he found out on the morning of August 25, he knew about them since March,” Lazar said.

He added that in April, the Justice Minister informed the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) that it has no competence in analysing and issuing an opinion regarding the protocols concluded by other public institutions.

“Surprisingly, on Saturday he had a different point of view,” Augustin Lazar said.

He has also revealed the correspondence with CSM on this issue, as the same documents as for the Justice Ministry were sent to, including details regarding the protocols with SRI.

“The correspondence clearly reveals that the Public Ministry acted constantly: transparently, by informing the CSM and the Justice Minister regarding the steps initiated regarding the protocols; constantly, in order to declassify the protocol signed in December 2016, the first step taken was made on March 13, 2017 – by the law, an institutional way of activity in Romania,” Augustin Lazar said.

“As proof stand the similar protocols concluded by SRI with the Judicial Inspectorate, the CSM, the High Court of Cassation and Justice and other state institutions, without reply or with delayed replies from the mentioned institutions,” he added.

Lazar mentioned that all protocols with SRI have been denounced, had no effects. The documents were concluded by the law, then promptly denounced and without effect, within the context of suspicions surfaced in the public debates.

“Perhaps the mistake was they were classified,” Lazar said.

Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, announced on Saturday he is triggering the legal procedure of assessing the activity of the Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar.

“I am triggering the legal procedure to assess the activity conducted by the Prosecutor General upon the High Court of Cassation and Justice. Several weeks ago, I said that time comes for everyone to be assessed. I appreciated the Prosecutor General’s availability to declassify the Protocol signed in 2009. Lately we find out that actually a protocol signed in 2016 has been made public. (…) The assessment results will be made public in 30 days at the most,” Minister Tudorel Toader wrote on Facebook.

The announcement came after the release to the public of the Protocol signed in 2016 between the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). One variant, not secret, was posted on the Public Ministry’s website, several hours later a secret variant was posted by Government adviser, Darius Valcov, on his Facebook page. Both were signed on the same day, in December 2016, before the elections.

 

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