The Romanian National Anticorruption Department (DNA) sent 68 officials to court in five years, namely 14 ministers and former ministers, 53 MPs and one MEP, according to a report of the institution’s activity in the period May 2013 – July 2018, when its chief prosecutor was Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Kovesi was dismissed from this position on Monday, July 9, by president Klaus Iohannis.
“During the five years of office, the number of indictments increased annually, and so did the number of defendants sent to court, the number of officials investigated and the value of the disposed measures,” reads the report.
Of the 68 officials sent to court in this period, 37 received final sentences. Nine of them were ministers and former ministers, 27 were MPs and one was an MEP.
Meanwhile, the percentage of acquittals stayed at 10%, below the European average, the report also shows.
“This percentage proves that we have been constantly concerned about respecting the fundamental rights of individuals and respecting procedural guarantees by applying the law equally.”
Over the same period, the value of the measures imposed by the DNA amounted to over EUR 2 billion. For example, in 2016, DNA imposed precautionary measures worth over EUR 0.5 billion, the highest value since the establishment of the institution. Also in 2016, the National Anticorruption Department has managed to seize two properties located in Saint Tropez – France, up to the sum of EUR 5.06 million. The same measure was also imposed for two buildings located in Barcelona, for the amount of EUR 534,310, while seizure requests were also filed in Cyprus, Switzerland and Germany, up to the amount of EUR 1.73 million.
“The National Anticorruption Department won the public confidence by applying the law equally, and by not being afraid to touch the top of the corruption networks’ pyramid, regardless of the political affiliation or the official quality of the investigated persons and regardless of their wealth,” the report also reads.
President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree to revoke Laura Codruta Kovesi from the position of DNA head on Monday, July 9, 30 days after the Constitutional Court had requested him to do so. Kovesi said she would remain prosecutor but not within the DNA. She also urged Romanian prosecutors and citizens not to abandon the anti-corruption fight, as “corruption can be defeated.”
Prosecutor Anca Jurma has been appointed interim chief prosecutor of DNA. Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry already opened the application process to select a new DNA chief prosecutor. Under the law, the minister will submit one or more proposals for the post to the Superior Magistracy Council, and, after receiving the institution’s approval, will forward the proposal to the president.
Irina Marica, [email protected]