Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar and Justice Minister Tudorel Toader have sent farewell messages on Thursday, before vacating the official positions. It is a strange coincidence that two longtime foes exit the public scene on the same day.
At the end of the Prosecutor General term, Augustin Lazar says in the message he has achieved his goals and mentioned the historic files.
“I had the honour and responsibility for three years to run the Public Ministry, with the highest position a prosecutor could achieve. At the end of the term, my thoughts are with the citizens, because I’ve been in the public service,” Lazar wrote on the Facebook page of the Public Ministry.
He tells the young magistrates that the “guarantee of independence is given by law, but it is consolidated by competence and by meeting the standards of ethics and professional integrity.”
Augustin Lazar says that currently the Public Ministry is a modern institution, strengthened and able to meet its constitutional role. He underlines the solving of historic files, a debt to the restitution of historic truth.
Lazar calls on the public opinion to have confidence in the Public Ministry and in the judiciary.
Tudorel Toader has left on Thursday the Justice Minister position, after handing it over to the interim minister Ana Birchall.
“We had a discussion on the procedure of handing the attributions. Two years and two months ago, on February 23, 2017, I followed the reverse procedure, when taking over the position,” Toader said.
“I’ve been honoured to be Justice Minister. I welcomed and watched you with pleasure and joy. You’ve been the window through which one can watch the Justice Ministry, its activity. I wish you well once again: Happy Easter!” Toader told the journalists.
Asked if he has regrets, Toader said: “Is there somebody to be loved by everybody? I don’t think so. If I regret something, probably, anytime and anywhere one can do more things and much better.”
Tudorel Toader requested the replacement of Augustin Lazar since last autumn.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on February 21, 2019 that he will start the procedure to name a new Romanian Prosecutor General, so that at the end of April, when the current PG, Augustin Lazar’s mandate is ending, the procedure to appoint a new head of the General Prosecutor’s Office should be ready.
President Klaus Iohannis signed last Friday the decree that allows Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar to retire. Lazar’s term at the helm of the General Prosecutor’s Office expires on April 27. The section for prosecutor with the Superior Council of Magistracy had also Okayed the PG’s retirement request.
Augustin Lazar had announced two days earlier he filed a request for retirement to the Superior Council of Magistracy.
Lazar had submitted his candidature for a new PG mandate, being heard in early April by a Justice ministry’s committee led by Tudorel Toader. However, the ousted Justice minister Toader eventually announced that none of the four candidates for the prosecutor’s office had met criteria to lead the Public Ministry, so the procedure has been resumed.
Augustin Lazar was recently accused that, when he was prosecutor during the ‘80s, he refused twice the release on parole of anti-communist dissident Iulius Filip, jailed at Aiud Penitentiary as political prisoner. At that time, Augustin Lazar was prosecutor in the Committee of release on parole of the penitentiary.
Last Thursday, Tudorel Toader submitted the resignation to Premier Viorica Dancila, following a row with PSD leader Liviu Dragnea on the issue on emergency ordinances on the laws of justice.