Prosecutors investigate Romanian justice minister’s career change

Romania’s General Prosecutor Office started an in-rem investigation on the way justice minister Tudorel Toader managed to get a notary seat open for himself.

A complaint was filed against Toader for abuse of office and use of his position to favor another person, local reported.

Several weeks ago, the justice minister asked to be admitted to the Public Notaries Union. He used a rule that allows former Constitutional Court judges to become lawyers or notaries without passing any exam. The decision was signed by a state secretary within the Justice Ministry.

Toader, who is also a registered lawyer, said he had no intention of resigning as justice minister. The media then wrote that Toader’s movement may have been aimed at helping one of his sons, who is also a notary, move his practice from the countryside, where he is officially registered as a notary, to the city of Iasi, where the justice minister’s family lives. Notaries are very tightly regulated in Romania and some journalists wrote that Toader may have used his position to by-pass the guild’s rules.

Justice minister Tudorel Toader recently announced that he would evaluate the activity of Romania’s general prosecutor Augustin Lazar. Toader also forced the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi from the helm of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) earlier this year.