Ro Insider
Romanian candidate for top European prosecutor job talks corruption issues in FT interview

Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former chief prosecutor of Romania’s anticorruption directorate DNA and one of the two contenders for the position of European Chief Prosecutor, has discussed aspects of her job as DNA prosecutor and corruption-related issues in a recent interview published by Financial Times.

The interview appeared in the Lunch with the FT section, which features famous figures from across a range of domains speaking with candor to the publication over lunch.

The interview goes into the details of preparing the meeting with Kovesi, who worried that the protocol of the interview, which asks the guest to choose a restaurant to meet with the interviewer, might leave way for her enemies to accuse her of “breaking the law by promoting a business interest.”

It also gives an insight into her preference for arriving early at meetings, always being prepared and working hard. “You cannot get results if you don’t work hard and follow through. I also learnt to trust colleagues, to respect the rules. It’s very important to learn how to win . . . and to learn how to lose. And if you lose something . . . you must give way to another,” Kovesi told FT’s Alec Russell.

The discussion also touches on Kovesi’s background. The former head DNA prosecutor grew up in the Transylvanian town of Mediaș and played for the junior national basketball team while in high school.

When discussing the anti-corruption fight in Romania, Kovesi sees 2004 as a turning point, when investigations started to be carried out in cases involving top public figures. However, this changed in 2017. “Everything changed because of the efficiency of the judiciary,” Kovesi told the FT.

The Romanian prosecutor also discussed the cultural aspects of corruption. “Even though each year we get more convictions, corruption is still around us. I don’t think it’s a problem for the whole society. It’s also an individual problem regarding mentality,” she explained. She gave the example of a mayor caught receiving bribe who was reelected and of being told that patriotism means not stealing from national funds but from EU funds to point to the need for education in anti-corruption.

At the same time, Kovesi said nobody tried to bribe here while in office, something she attributed to the many myths that circulate about her.

Kovesi declined to comment on PSD leader Liviu Dragnea but explained that the bad things” cannot be done by one person. “Many were involved in this attack against the judicial system. In my career, I faced no disciplinary investigations. Last year, I had four! A coincidence? One man cannot do all those things,” she said.

Referring to her French contender for the European Chief Prosecutor position, she explained that they have different skills. Having the support of many Romanians was important for her in the contest for the job, which she sees as being “not only for me, it’s for the country, for the justice system and for all Romanians who support the fight against corruption.”

The full interview is available here.

(Photo: Octav Ganea/ Inquam Photos)

[email protected]

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Ro Insider
Romanian candidate for top European prosecutor job talks corruption issues in FT interview

Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former chief prosecutor of Romania’s anticorruption directorate DNA and one of the two contenders for the position of European Chief Prosecutor, has discussed aspects of her job as DNA prosecutor and corruption-related issues in a recent interview published by Financial Times.

The interview appeared in the Lunch with the FT section, which features famous figures from across a range of domains speaking with candor to the publication over lunch.

The interview goes into the details of preparing the meeting with Kovesi, who worried that the protocol of the interview, which asks the guest to choose a restaurant to meet with the interviewer, might leave way for her enemies to accuse her of “breaking the law by promoting a business interest.”

It also gives an insight into her preference for arriving early at meetings, always being prepared and working hard. “You cannot get results if you don’t work hard and follow through. I also learnt to trust colleagues, to respect the rules. It’s very important to learn how to win . . . and to learn how to lose. And if you lose something . . . you must give way to another,” Kovesi told FT’s Alec Russell.

The discussion also touches on Kovesi’s background. The former head DNA prosecutor grew up in the Transylvanian town of Mediaș and played for the junior national basketball team while in high school.

When discussing the anti-corruption fight in Romania, Kovesi sees 2004 as a turning point, when investigations started to be carried out in cases involving top public figures. However, this changed in 2017. “Everything changed because of the efficiency of the judiciary,” Kovesi told the FT.

The Romanian prosecutor also discussed the cultural aspects of corruption. “Even though each year we get more convictions, corruption is still around us. I don’t think it’s a problem for the whole society. It’s also an individual problem regarding mentality,” she explained. She gave the example of a mayor caught receiving bribe who was reelected and of being told that patriotism means not stealing from national funds but from EU funds to point to the need for education in anti-corruption.

At the same time, Kovesi said nobody tried to bribe here while in office, something she attributed to the many myths that circulate about her.

Kovesi declined to comment on PSD leader Liviu Dragnea but explained that the bad things” cannot be done by one person. “Many were involved in this attack against the judicial system. In my career, I faced no disciplinary investigations. Last year, I had four! A coincidence? One man cannot do all those things,” she said.

Referring to her French contender for the European Chief Prosecutor position, she explained that they have different skills. Having the support of many Romanians was important for her in the contest for the job, which she sees as being “not only for me, it’s for the country, for the justice system and for all Romanians who support the fight against corruption.”

The full interview is available here.

(Photo: Octav Ganea/ Inquam Photos)

[email protected]

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