Tags: EU | Romania | Corruption

Romanian Minister Calls for Firing of Anti-graft Prosecutor

Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:38 PM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's justice minister on Thursday called for the country's chief anti-corruption prosecutor to be removed from her post, citing what he said were serious concerns about the way she conducted her job.

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader claimed that National Anti-Corruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi had "deformed reality" about Romania and its rule of law in interviews with the foreign media.

He also said she displayed an "excessively authoritarian attitude" by personally supervising prosecutors investigating a contentious decree that would have decriminalized official misconduct. The measure sparked weeks of massive anti-graft protests.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis immediately rejected Toader's report saying it "lacked clarity" and contradicted the presidency's own conclusions. Iohannis has the final say on whether to fire any senior prosecutor.

In his criticism, the minster also claimed Kovesi strove to convict senior officials "at any price," and had failed to take action when reports emerged about prosecutors allegedly committing abuses.

Critics, however, said Toader's proposal was politically motivated to satisfy the demands of the left-wing ruling coalition which has been very critical of Kovesi and the anti-corruption fight.

"The justice minister once again abandoned his responsibility as minister in order to serve political interests," said Romania Platform 100, a non-governmental group headed by former Premier Dacian Ciolos.

In a statement, Iohannis reiterated his support for Kovesi and the anti-corruption prosecutors' agency.

The agency said in its last report in February 2017 that three ministers, 17 lawmakers, 16 magistrates and other officials were among high-level cases targeted in 2016.

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Romania's justice minister on Thursday called for the country's chief anti-corruption prosecutor to be removed from her post, citing what he said were serious concerns about the way she conducted her job.Justice Minister Tudorel Toader claimed that National Anti-Corruption...
EU,Romania,Corruption
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2018-38-22
Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:38 PM
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