Romanian president dismisses anticorruption head

President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree to revoke the National Anticorruption Directorate – DNA’s chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court (CCR), the spokesperson of the Romanian Presidency, Madalina Dobrovolschi, announced on Monday morning, July 9.

“In a state governed by the rule of law, the rulings of the Constitutional Court must all be respected. It is precisely for this reason that the constitutional judges have the tremendous responsibility that, in ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution, they do not depart from its spirit, which is based on the democratic traditions of the Romanian people and on the ideals of the 1989 Revolution,” Madalina Dobrovolschi said.

“However, the Constitutional Court’s rulings must be respected and enforced not only by the President of Romania, but also by the political majority, a majority that decides legislative changes with major impact on the rule of law,” she added.

She concluded her statement by saying that president Kalus Iohannis draws attention to the fact that, regardless of the name of the chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, this institution has the obligation to continue its professional activity at the highest level of performance.

In February this year, justice minister Tudorel Toader asked the dismissal of the DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi invoking 20 intolerable acts and facts related to her activity as head of this important institution. Some of them were based on the Constitutional Court’s decisions on the conflicts between the DNA and the Parliament and Government. Others were based on media reports and interviews that Kovesi gave to the local and international media. Tudorel Toader said that Kovesi’s statements in these interviews damaged Romania’s image abroad.

The Superior Magistracy Council’s prosecutor section issued a negative opinion on the justice minister’s request and president Klaus Iohannis later announced he would not revoke the DNA chief. He motivated his decision saying that the justice minister’s arguments didn’t convince him.

However, the justice minister asked the Constitutional Court to rule on Iohannis’ decision, invoking a constitutional conflict between the Presidency and Government. The Court later ruled that the president has to sign the decree to revoke Kovesi.

The ruling coalition was expected to make a decision today, July 9, on weather or not they suspend president Klaus Iohannis. The main reason for suspension was the fact that the president postponed taking a decision on revoking the DNA head.

Irina Marica, irina.marica@romania-insider.com