The Judicial Inspectorate has initiated a disciplinary action against Laura Codruta Kovesi, Chief Prosecutor with the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and Marius Constantin Iacob, Deputy Chief Prosecutor with DNA, for committing transgressions.
The action was submitted to the Section for Prosecutors on issues of disciplinary matters of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), which will decide on the responsibility of the two magistrates, ziare.com reports.
Specifically, the Judicial Inspectorate action comes as a result of the recordings released in June last year by Romania TV private broadcaster. The TV station owned by Sebastian Ghita – the former politician having many DNA files opened against him and who has fled the country, he is still in Serbia – had broadcasted pieces of recordings of what it claimed to be a DNA sitting in which a voice attributed to the DNA chief prosecutor allegedly tells prosecutor Jean Uncheselu that she wants to reach the “Prime Minister” sooner.
At the same time, the recorded pieces reveal that Kovesi is dissatisfied with the prosecutors for not doing their job properly and that the institution is becoming more and more exposed to attacks.
According to a Judicial Inspectorate release, in the case of Kovesi, one of the disciplinary transgressions refers to ‘manifestations which affect the honour or professional probity or the prestige of justice, committed or not in the exercise of their duties, consisting in the fact that during a working meeting, she had manifestations of the kind to prejudice the honour and professional probity of the prosecutors, as well as the prestige of justice, the circumstances identified in the audio recordings released by the media on June 18, 2017.
“In particular, the DNA chief prosecutor expressed in the sense of combating the negative effects on the institution’s image and credibility, generated by the Constitutional Court Decision 68/2017, by urgently solving some ‘files involving ministers’ with media impact, expressed disagreement in regard to the legal, final and generally binding character of the CCR Decision 68/2017 and used inappropriate expressions regarding the Constitutional Court and a Constitutional Court judge, inducing the idea within the public opinion that one of the criteria for prioritization in solving the files is their media impact and the official position of the investigated people,” the Judicial Inspectorate informs.
Kovesi also used a superior and aggressive tone towards her prosecutor colleagues, inadmissible in relation to the minimal standards of ethics and deontology of a magistrate, capable of generating among public opinion a feeling of indignation and legitimate doubt about the observance of the principles of supremacy of the Constitution and of the laws, as well as the impartiality of the prosecutors, the source reads.
At the same time, the action was aimed at “shameful attitudes in the exercise of duties to colleagues, the other staff of the court or the prosecutor’s office, judicial inspectors, lawyers, experts, witnesses, or representatives of other institutions” through electronic mail (e-mail), with an unworthy attitude, using words and expressions to prosecutors with denigrator character, with insulting and threatening content, namely ‘cowards’, ‘slanderers’, ‘offenders’, telling them that ‘there is already a circle of suspects’, referring to a criminal case, thus violating the reserve requirement and the rules of conduct attached to the profession of magistrate.
Regarding Marius Constantin Iacob, the Judicial Inspectorate points out that the action against him aimed at “the non-observance of the duty to refrain when the judge or prosecutor knows that there is one of the causes provided by the law for his refraining,” namely that he carried out criminal proceedings without issuing a statement of refraining, although he was manifestly in the situation of incompatibility provided for in Article 64, paragraph 1, letter f, with reference to Article 65 paragraph 1 and Article 66 of the Criminal Code proceedings.
We remind that Kovesi then said the recordings were not authentic and notified the Prosecutor’s Office.
At the same time, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said at the time that he would notify the Judicial Inspection, but the institution had already announced that it was notified ex-officio in this case.