Anti-corruption in Romania: Cause or Crusade?

EPA

Ghiţă goes on the offensive


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After an entire month of allegations and statements made, suggesting Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors were forging evidence and inventing accusations against politicians and businessmen, a new scandal has exploded in the Romanian press.

Former member of the Romanian Parliament, Sebastian Ghiţă, an insider of the system and former secretary general of the SRI’s parliamentary control commission, has gone on interviews to the press to discuss the mechanisms and interests that he claims linked the Romania’s anti-corruption unit’s (DNA) head Laura Codruța Kövesi to secret service generals and politicians in various parties.

Ghiţă, was investigated by the DNA for bribery and money laundering in Romania, and has since accused the National Anticorruption Directorate of fabricating cases with the help of Romanian Intelligence Service.

If accurate, the information provided and disclosures made by Ghiţă, suggest that Kövesi had the support of secret services in Romania and allowed the involvement of these secret services in the act of justice. At the same time, accusations were made regarding the economic and political interests of the generals of the information services which he said were protected by Kövesi.

Ghiţă spoke of “informal meetings” he also attended, in which Kövesi and several generals set political targets that had to be removed by making fake accusations.Former PM Victor Ponta, former President Traian Băsescu and former director of SRI George Maior have publicly confirmed these publications or hearings in the Romanian Parliament.

Several members of the former and current parliament, such as Vlad Cosma, Daniel Savu, Andreea Cosma, Andrei Volosevich and former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, have provided evidence of the illegalities committed by DNA prosecutors.

This story, however bizarre, has brought to light more records that could be seen and heard by anticorruption prosecutors; these were broadcast in the Romanian media. Judicial Inspection is now investigating whether prosecutors blackmail witnesses, build false evidence, plant the evidence in the cars of some citizens, or file corruption charges against politicians.

Kövesi reaction was to defend these prosecutors and their alleged illegal practices. Ghiţă  alleges that Kövesi orchestrated these practices, including evidence falsification.

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader drew up a report requesting the revocation of Kovesi as Chief Prosecutor of the DNA. The report contains 20 allegations of managerial activity of the DNA boss, as well as references to that suggest falsified evidence in the files against Ghiţă.

Among the worst accusations, the minister listed violation of the Constitution, attacking judges of the Constitutional Court, and breaking the principle of separation of powers of the state. Romania’s centre-right President Klaus Iohannis has defended Kövesi throughout this affair, saying in mid-February that  he did not “ see any reason at this time to remove the head of the DNA of her duties.” Kövesi claims she has “always respected the law”.

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