Romanian interior minister uses pedophile cop scandal to dismiss Police heads

Interior minister Carmen Dan yesterday asked for the resignation of Romanian Police chief Bogdan Despescu after a traffic police officer admitted to having sexually assaulted two children in a Bucharest elevator on Friday.

Prime minister Mihai Tudose didn’t make a decision on dismissing the Police head yet and said he first wanted to have a meeting with him.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement on Monday saying that the Romanian Police needed to be reorganized and that the chiefs who have been hiding problems under the rug needed to step back. According to the ministry, the pedophile cop’s superiors needed to take responsibility for keeping him in the Police and for the fact that psychological testing of police officers was ineffective.

On Tuesday, minister Carmen Dan said that no Police chief took her advice, so she asked the resignation of Romanian Police head Bogdan Despescu. She also asked for the resignation of the Homicide Division’s chief within the Bucharest Police, for the way his division has handled other sexual assault cases that may have the same suspect. DNA tests showed that the pedophile cop sexually also assaulted a 7-year old girl in 2012 and he is now a suspect in several other cases going back to 2009.

However, some see the interior minister’s request for the Homicide Division head’s resignation as a revenge for the man’s statements against the proposed changes to the criminal code and criminal procedure code. In December 2017, the officer criticized some of the changes saying that the impossibility of using video footage captured by surveillance cameras would prevent the Police from catching murderers, rapists and pedophiles. In fact, video footage was decisive in catching the pedophile cop.

The scandal also led to the suspension of the man’s supervising officer, Emanuel Vornicu, the head of the Traffic Police Department for Bucharest’s Districts 1, 2 and 6. In fact, the pedophile cop was Vornicu’s driver.

Pedophile cop case puts a spotlight on Romanian Police problems

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