Romania's National Integrity Agency (ANI) is coming under political pressure to halt investigations into senior politicians over corruption and conflicts of interest. The ANI claims that since notifying three ministers and a state official that they are under investigation last week, the agency has come under fire and been accused of having its own political agenda, ahead of the upcoming elections in December. “The political pressures we have recently seen are the most aggressive since ANI was founded. They are meant to discourage and intimidate the agency's ongoing investigations,” the ANI president Horia Georgescu (in picture) told Reuters news agency.
Transport Minister Ovidiu Ioan Silaghi, Regional Development Minister Eduard Raul Hellvig, Liviu Marian Pop, Minister Delegate for Social Dialogue), and Sorin Dan Mihalache, the deputy general secretary of the Government - who was dismissed this week, were all notified of the investigations on November 9, which concern money for which they cannot account or conflicts of interest (working with organizations that dealt with their ministries.) According to Reuters, all of four under investigation deny the allegations.
The work carried out by Romania's anti-corruption and integrity agencies since EU accession was praised by the European Commission (EC) during the presentation of Cooperation and Verification Mechanism's report at the end of a summer of political confrontation. The EC expressed serious concerns over democracy and the rule of law, set out 11 commandments that Romania must follow and is likely to be on the look out for and ready to reprimand any political interference in prosecuting public servants for corruption.
Read the Reuters article.
Liam Lever, [email protected]
(photo source: Digi24 screen capture)